Community Members Raise Voice Against Police Violence in Staten Island March

Home / Community Members Raise Voice Against Police Violence in Staten Island March

A march on Staten Island in New York City is underway on Saturday where community members are voicing outrage over persistent patterns of police violence nationwide while they also commemorate the recent deaths of several black men at the hands of officers accused of using excessive force.

Organized by those mouring the recent killing of Eric Garner, who died after being aggressively tackled and choked by Staten Island police officers last month, the demonstration is also being joined by people from all over the country, including the parents of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black teenager who was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. Brown’s death sparked more than two weeks of protests in Ferguson and a national dialogue about race, police accountability, and the increasingly militarized nature of local U.S. law enforcement.

“We hope it will be a success and people will understand why we’re doing it,” Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, told the New York Daily News on Friday. “We hope the people who are supposed to hear our outcry respond to it.”

The mother of Amadou Diallo, a man killed in a 1999 shooting by four NYPD officers, also spoke Saturday morning ahead of the march and said: “Police cannot judge our sons and execute them for no reason.”

Though streets were blocked off for the march and some businesses reportedly decided to close to avoid the expected crowds, the march was billed as peaceful rally. According to the Staten Island Advance news site—which is providing live coverage of the march— the early police presence attending the rally was “conspicuous but subdued.”

A video loop of protesters in Staten Island via Vine:


Led by Rev. Al Sharpton’s  National Action Network, the NAACP, United Healthcare Workers East (1199 SEIU) and the United Federation of Teachers—the march brings together a wide array of community groups and individuals offering a shared message against police violence and the need to address a woeful pattern of treatment against communities of color, especially young people who face glaringly disproportionate levels of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of officers.

“We aren’t saying all police are bad,” Sharpton said in a statement. “We aren’t marching against the police. We are marching against the chokehold.”

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Marching under the collective banner of “#WeWillNotGoBack,” the hashtag was trending on Twitter as it tracked the day’s march:

#WeWillNotGoBack Tweets

An editorial in the New York Times on Saturday argued that for the city, the day’s demonstration goes deeper than the death of Garner, given the ongoing political dispute that has focused on the way the NYPD polices the city:

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