Protests and rallies have sprung up all over the country in response to the grand jury decision after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown — including at Ohio State.
Some OSU students are set to host a march on the Oval on Monday at 4:30 p.m. — followed by a citywide rally in Goodale Park — in response to the Ferguson decision.
Brown, an unarmed black man, was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9. It was announced on Nov. 24 that Wilson will not face criminal charges.
“People in Columbus and at OSU are concerned with the lack of justice we’ve seen for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Aiyana Jones. We don’t expect the racism, violence and killings that police are getting away with without any legal accountability,” Timothy Singratsomboune, a fourth-year in ethnic studies said.
Eric Garner died July 17 after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold when he was suspected of selling single cigarettes. Aiyana Jones was a 7-year-old girl who was killed after being shot during a raid from by the Detroit Police Department on May 16, 2010.
The rally will serve as a national effort against police brutality and police militarization, and also a demand that civil rights charges be brought against Wilson, Singratsomboune said.
On a local level, Singratsomboune said the rally will focus on police brutality and police management in Columbus.
“We want to create a civilian review board in Columbus, made of people who reflect Columbus residents, monitor police behavior and help with investigations to hold police accountable,” Singratsomboune said.
As of Sunday night, more than 300 attendees said they were going to the rally on the Oval, according to a Facebook post about the event.
“I see the black community in the United States as one of the most disadvantaged communities in the country. Fighting for their rights will lead to civil rights for us all,” Omar Gowayed, a fifth-year in materials science and engineering said. “That’s kind of what happened in the 1950s, and I think that’s what could happen today.”
Gowayed said he has personally been harassed by police and sees it as unfortunate and inappropriate, but also as something that can be changed.
“As an Egyptian-American, I’ve seen an aggressive militarized police force and the death of unarmed police as something that’s developing. I’d rather not have it in either of my countries, and in the United States we are given a platform to do something about it,” Gowayed said. “We can protest, host demonstrations, sign petitions and vote about it, so we should.”
OSU alumnus Jawad Tariq plans to attend the rally to support minorities as a whole community.
“If it happens to these individuals, we have to remember that it could happen to anybody. I don’t want to wait to see my own race or other races be victimized as well,” Tariq said. “We are all equal and should stand up for the human race as a whole.”