August 28, 2014 in Nation/World

Activists call for officer’s arrest following Brown shooting

Mcclatchy-Tribune
 
Donations

Donors have given nearly $700,000 to online fundraising sites set up to collect money for the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The memorial fund in his name has raised almost $280,000 from more than 9,300 people in 13 days. Two sites supporting police officer Darren Wilson have taken in nearly $410,000 from nearly 10,000 contributors. The donations have come through the site GoFundMe.com.

WASHINGTON – More than 50 activists gathered outside the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday to deliver a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., calling for the arrest and prosecution of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

“We’d like to see real leadership from the Department of Justice,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, lead organizer of the protest and founder of the No Fear Coalition, a nonprofit group that fights discrimination.

Several legal experts and community organizers spoke at the rally, calling for greater accountability.

“At this point, police officers are getting sentences that amount to little pats on the hand for killing unarmed black men and boys, and we think that’s one of the problems,” Coleman-Adebayo said. “There’s no accountability at this point.”

Organizers said the rally was designed to keep public pressure strong as news coverage of Ferguson declines and protesters return home.

“Things will only change if people remain in the streets,” Coleman-Adebayo said. “We have to be in the streets. We have to be active. Unless we do that, quite frankly, the political machine will move on and find other issues to concern itself with.”

Coleman-Adebayo describes Brown’s death as the “tipping point” for broader frustration with police brutality and militarization. As an African-American, she said, the issue is also personal.

“I’m the mother of a 28-year-old young man who has been stopped by the police over 30 times,” she said. “This is not class-based. This is race-based.”

Get stories like this in a free daily email