BALTIMORE – Three gatherings are plan
ned in Baltimore, Aug. 14, in response to the fatal shooting of Missouri teen Michael Brown.
The Rev. Cortly Witherspoon Sr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) said Brown’s death is just the latest in an increasing number of police brutality incidents all over the country.
The SCLC’s emergency action, as Rev. Witherspoon calls it, will start, 5:30 p.m., at the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, 111 N. Calvert St. and end at Baltimore City’s police headquarters, 601 E. Fayette St.
“We have had situations in Baltimore where people havebeen murdered by the police,” Rev. Witherspoon said. He cited incidents like the 2012 case of Anthony Anderson and 2013 case of Tyrone West – both of whom died while in police custody.
He said in those cases, no officer was ever indicted.
“We just got rid of our state’s attorney and the reason why is that he seems to be incapable or lack the political will to bring about criminal charges.”
He said he expected Thursday’s event to be peaceful, although tensions have run high at demonstrations held in the town of Ferguson.
“I think that what’s happening over there is that there is a lot of passion and energy, it just needs to be focused. I think they need direction.”
“We don’t intend to have people there long but we want people to support the activity around this case,” said Witherspoon.
The group, Baltimore Bloc will be gathering in front of Baltimore Police Headquarters at 6 p.m. Aug. 14. Their walk will begin at the corner of Baltimore and Gay Street and end at City Hall. Group organizer Tayam Sohrabi says the group is not only marching for Brown, but for others in Baltimore who have died while in police custody.
Sohrabi says Baltimore Bloc has been working with a number of families who he says have also been victimized by city police. For example, they have joined with the family of Tyrone West holding demonstrations every Wednesday.
Finally, a National Moment of Silence will be observed at 201 E. Pratt Street at 7 p.m. According to the Facebook page being used to organize the event, attendees to the vigil are encouraged to bring signs and share stories.