Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Stand with Us': Thousands Protest Police Killings; FERGUSON TURMOIL: AROUND THE U.S

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'Stand with Us': Thousands Protest Police Killings; FERGUSON TURMOIL: AROUND THE U.S

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Family members of young, unarmed black men killed by police from Michael Brown and Eric Garner in recent months, to Amadou Diallo more than 15 years ago packed a stage in front of the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, using a shared forum to urge thousands of supportive marchers to keep up the pressure for changes to the criminal justice system.

The march in Washington coincided with demonstrations across the country, from Fifth Avenue in New York to the streets of San Francisco and the steps of the Boston Statehouse mostly peaceful protests although about two dozen people were arrested in the Massachusetts capital for disorderly conduct.

Among the protesters in Washington was Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michel Brown, 18, fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson. Also at the march were family members of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old killed in Ohio as he played with a pellet gun in a park; the mother of Amadou Diallo, who in 1999 was fatally shot in the Bronx by four New York City police officers; and Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, 43, who died in July after being put in a chokehold by New York City police during an arrest for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

"What a sea of people," McSpadden said. "If they don't see this and make a change, then I don't know what we got to do. Thank you for having my back."

Garner said: "My husband was a quiet man, but he's making a lot of noise right now."

"His voice will be heard. I have five children in this world and we are fighting not just for him but for everybody's future, for everybody's past, for everybody's present, and we need to make it strong."

Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, called the demonstrations a "history- making moment."

Nationally, marchers chanted "I can't breathe," "Hands up, don't shoot," and waved signs reading "Black lives matter!" Demonstrators also staged "die-ins" across intersections and in one city briefly scuffled with police blocking an onramp to a highway. …

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