A group of protesters led by the organization CBUS2Ferguson marched from the Ohio Union to the Short North at 6 p.m. on Saturday to coincide with the protests happening in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s funeral.
Gray’s death in prison — caused by a spine injury he suffered during his arrest — set off protests and marches in the streets of Baltimore that questioned the treatment of African Americans by police, according to The New York Times.
The Short North was the destination of the march because the structures built there led to the gentrification of minorities, said CBUS2Ferguson organizer Rashida Davison, who graduated from Ohio State in 2012 with a degree in film production. Davison said she wants to make people aware of the “land (they) are walking on.”
Police officers spoke with some of the march’s leaders before it began, including Demarcus Scott, the social media coordinator for CBUS2Ferguson.
“We were just coordinating with local police to make sure they know our planned route and everything,” Scott said. “They have to set officers down in the streets just to make sure things don’t get too rowdy.”
The group said they also wanted to call out the Columbus Division of Police, which has remained silent regarding community demands that CBUS2Ferguson raised last November during a march for Michael Brown of Ferguson.
Davison said the police had promised her group a response by the end of April.
“We need a civilian review board, which is independent of the police,” Davidson said. “We want a required shooter bias training and evaluation for the officers. We want the officers to live in the communities they’re working in, and we also want the demilitarization of the police.”
The Columbus Police declined to offer any comment to The Lantern regarding the march.
The students also marched for two other people that were killed by police officers in the past two months: Rekia Boyd and Mya Hall.
Boyd was shot and killed in Chicago by a police officer who fired into a crowd she was in. The officer was charged and acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and reckless discharge of a firearm, according to CBS Chicago.
Hall, a transgender woman officially named Ricky who went by the name Mya, was also shot and killed by police officers in Baltimore after being found in a stolen SUV that was crashed into a National Security Agency guard post, according to The Washington Post.
“When we think about specific issues, whether it be LGBT issues or black issues, we don’t like to talk a lot about the intersections — so people who are women and also black, or people who are LGBT and also black, or black and trans — so we really want to make sure that people aren’t forgetting,” Davison said.
Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has issued charges against six police officers involved with the arrest and death of Gray. The charges range from murder to manslaughter, according to The New York Times.
Correction: May 2, 2015
An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Mya Hall as a transgender male. In fact, Hall was a transgender woman.