Students and staff gather at peaceful rally against police brutality Friday
About 40 Central Michigan University students and staff members took a stand Friday, raising their unarmed hands in the air with a chant of “don’t shoot.”
After witnessing the events that followed the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the way police have been handling situations too aggressively in the past, several CMU students organized a peaceful protest against police brutality.
“We did a protest in Owosso not that long ago and liked the response, so we decided we should do it here as well to show that students care,” said Owosso sophomore Amanda Rodgers, organizer of the event in front of the Charles V. Park Library. “A lot of students didn’t really know what was going on in Ferguson, so we want to tell them what is happening and it’s not OK.”
Students at the protest passed out fliers detailing the incidents revolving around the death of Brown and the police backlash in the city seen in the media.
Protesters held up signs denouncing police brutality while chanting “no justice, no peace, no violent police,” as cars drove by honking their horns in support of the protest.
Rodgers said they are not against the police, stating they notified the CMU Police Department about the protest in advance, but are against the brutality police are capable of inflicting and have done in the past.
“I don’t think you’ll find anyone in favor of police brutality, or any brutality for that matter,” said CMU Police Chief William Yeagley. “As far as I can remember, there has never been a problem with police (brutality) at CMU.”
Students continued to protest and hold up their signs as they were joined by several more students and CMU staff members.
“I’m very happy to see students protesting an issue that is finally being addressed,” said Joyce Baugh, a political science professor. “Hopefully the incident that happened in Ferguson brings attention to the problem and brings change.”