Anti-Racist organization marches through Kent

Kelly Byer

Police brutality is the focus of demonstration

To chants of “Hey, hey, ho, ho, police brutality’s got to go,” the Kent Anti-Racist Action organization made its way downtown last night.

At about 7:30 p.m., about 10 A.R.A. members and other participants marched from Risman Plaza to Midway Drive to East Main Street, where they held a rally in the Home Savings Plaza in recognition of the national day of action against police brutality.

From there, they marched chanting and with two large banners along South Water Street to the Kent Police Department. There they played a game of Twister, representing their right to use public space.

Sophomore psychology major Samira Pettway said she had never been to a rally before and heard about the event from a friend’s flier.

“It just seemed like it’d be a good idea to support,” Pettway said.

While Pettway said she has never experienced police brutality, she knows of people who have. During “Red, White and Blue” Fourth of July celebrations in Columbus, Pettway said police have sprayed the crowd with mace when they thought the celebration got too rowdy.

David Gilbert, post-undergraduate Russian major, said this was his first time attending a rally as well. He said he hoped to meet people of like mind, and has not had first-hand experience with police brutality.

Gilbert said he thinks when police officers abuse their powers, something should be done.

“I think that police officers are given powers to lock people up; I don’t think they should be allowed to run rampant with it,” Gilbert said. “I think they should be held accountable for it.”

Sophomore biology major Andrew Ruminas said the issue of police brutality is something that needs to be addressed.

Ruminas said he has been subject to police harassment in the past, having been insulted and profiled. He said being quiet only permits the police’s actions.

“It’s showing that the community is not standing for police brutality,” Ruminas said.

Contact safety reporter Kelly Byer at [email protected].