by Christopher Etienne
Pictures by Justin Hendrix
A small group of protesters gathered in Rutgers New Brunswick next to Voorhees hall to express their discontent about the Mike Brown case Friday. The meeting began with the lighting of candles and a moment of silence for Brown and others who were wrongfully murdered by overzealous law enforcement officers. The facilitators of this event Monique Porow, Brooklyn Hitchens, and Portia Allen-Kyle explained that this is a recurring injustice that needs to be addressed. According to Porow four African American males lost their lives to the hands of officers in less than a month’s time.
Editor of New Brunswick Today, Charlie Kratovil says “as citizens we have a responsibility to hold these government entities accountable for their action .” Kratovil explains that change will only come with consistent agitation. He says “we have to step up, document everything, and bring it to the proper authorities.” If we let them get away with small crimes, they will be trying to get away with bigger crimes.” Porow supports these comments stating that these officers must get investigated and charged when they are at fault. She says “when we don’t charge them, we are saying it’s okay for them to continue to commit these crimes.” Allen-Kyle says this matter does not stop with young black males. She goes on to speak about the death of 93 year old Pearlie Golden and 7 year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones saying that “its people as a whole whose lives are being devalued.”
So what can we do to ensure that officers are not abusing their authority, how can we bring about a change? Some argue that we must monitor cops more closely. Currently Move.org is launching a petition that would require all cops to wear cameras on their persons. According to the petition the cameras would be connected to the internet, recorded footage would then be delivered to a third party made up of citizens who have no affiliation to law enforcement. The petition critiques the legitimacy of internal affair investigations, stating that the account of random citizens would be more reliable. Others feel that citizens have to become more aware of their rights. Porow claims that understanding what you should do when you are witnessing or experiencing these kind of injustices plays a major role in bringing about a change. She empathizes with the officers who attempt to stay true to the ideals of their job. She says “they are officers who do come to work with the intent to protect and serve everyone, and it’s unfortunate that they get lumped up with the people who have done things like this.” The crowd agreed that both citizens and officers have to take steps to make sure that these tragedies no longer take place. We have to become more aware of our rights, remain proactive in politics, and most of all we have to continue to advocate against injustice. Porow explains we must continue to seek out justice and “never get tired of fighting, because we did not get this far by getting tired.