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Protestors March Against Police Brutality

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

Fourteen UNCG students trooped from the fountain to the Greensboro Police Station on Washington St. Monday, beating drums and chanting as they went.

They joined a rally on the station’s front steps organized by the October 22nd Coalition, which promotes awareness about Police brutality nationwide. The event is held yearly to commemorate those killed by police.

“We will constantly be making noise about this,” said Robindra Deb, co-coordinator of UNCG’s Amnesty International chapter. Most of the marchers were Amnesty members.

“I’m tired of living in a society where police are not held accountable for the same standards as citizens are,” said Senior Nego Crosson.

“Racism definitely carries over,” said Crosson of the controversy over racial profiling at UNCG and other universities. “It seems to be part of how police operate across the board.”

“Of course they have a hard job,” said Crosson. “But that doesn’t give them license to make fatal mistakes.”

The marchers were divided in their views of the UNCG police.

“No- I don’t trust them,” said Crosson. “I see them as being out of control- they only answer to themselves.”

Personally, I trust the campus police,” said Grant Campbell, coordinator of UNCG’s Amnesty chapter.

At 4:45, the marchers left campus, banging drums and chanting slogans like “No Justice, No Peace; No Racist Police” and “1-2-3-4, We Won’t Take it Any More; 5-6-7-8, Stop the Killing by the State.”

On Market St., many people stared through their car windows. Some students waved from their balconies at University Square, while other passers-by pumped their fists and gave a thumbs-up.

At the rally, the marchers joined about 35 A&T; students, October 22nd Coalition members, and family members of those killed by Greensboro and Guilford County police. Their pictures sat on a black altar with three white candles. Under each picture was the person’s name, date of birth and the circumstances of their death.

Nearly all the pictures were of young black men, some in tuxes for their high school senior pictures.

One of the pictures was of Gilbert Barber, who was killed by Guilford County Sheriff Thomas Gordy on May 18. His 14-year-old cousin, Allen Wilfoung, was at the rally.

“I feel good about this- I’m here to support my cousin,” he said.

Mary Wilfoung, another cousin, came from Raleigh.

“Violence is just a waste,” she said. “We need to rise up and be peaceful.”

Eric Moore, the Vice President of A&T;’s Political Science Society, held a sign reading “No More Stolen Lives”.

“I’ve been subjected to illegal searches, and police have threatened to lock me up,” said Moore. “I present no danger to anyone. I just want to be treated with respect.”

Moore said he’s never had problems with the A&T; police, but he spoke differently of UNCG.

“I’ve been stopped at UNCG while going the speed limit,” said Moore. “[The officers] refused to give a reason for why they stopped me.”

“It’s real easy to stand back, do nothing and to say it’s not your problem, so thanks for coming out,” Moore said to the crowd.

“I ask you, please don’t be bitter,” Moore said, pointing towards the police station. “There are people in there who do believe in justice.”

“I just feel like the police need to be held accountable,” said Nikia Isley-George, the Attorney General at A&T.;

Isley said the gap between UNCG and A&T; also needs to be bridged.

A small group of officers stood near the front door. Moore invited them to join the rally, saying, “We’re on your team- we need your help.”

None of the officers approached the crowd.

Most of the protestors had hopes for future rallies. Scott Trent, one of the rally’s organizers, said, “The only thing that can change [police brutality] is for large numbers of people to get out into the streets.”

“We are not going to tolerate brutality,” said Robindra Deb. “One of the good things that may come out of this is that people will have awareness that [police brutality] is a problem in Greensboro and it’s a problem at UNCG.”

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