SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Activists marched in the hundreds on the streets of South L.A. Thursday to protest what they are calling the unjust police shootings of unarmed black men across the nation.
Demonstrators, many of them middle school and high school students, voiced their outrage over the death of Ezell Ford in Los Angeles and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Speakers at the rally shared stories about their own contact with police, some touching on racial profiling.
Several organizations put on the demonstration to give students a chance to voice their thoughts on the controversial shootings.
“This is not something that just recently happened. This is something that’s been happening for hundreds of years. Our people have been tortured. Our people have been misled,” said Gabriel Hercules of the Brotherhood Crusade. “So if you all. and the people behind the cameras, and the people in front of the cameras, will not take the responsibility to give a good message, to give a good voice to all young men, and all of these young women that want to do better, then you are all doing an injustice to all of us.”
He was one of many calling for action in what was called a peaceful protest.
Many want to see charges filed against the police officer involved in Ezell Ford’s death. The 25-year-old was killed during a scuffle with officers. The LAPD say they aren’t releasing the officers’ names in order to protect their safety. Officials also haven’t released Ford’s autopsy report because it’s not yet complete, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, members of the Ferguson community continue to protest each night, demanding justice for Brown. The 18-year-old was fatally shot during a confrontation with a police officer. Many are decrying the shooting as excessive given that Ford was unarmed at the time and shot six times, according to police and autopsy reports.