The former Philadelphia police captain famously photographed being arrested during the New York City Occupy Wall Street protests was set to join protesters at a Wednesday rally in support of Tamir Rice, the black 12-year-old boy fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014, Cleveland.com reported. Ray Lewis was set to appear at the Justice Center in Cleveland in full police uniform in support of Rice, weeks after a grand jury decided against charging a police officer in his death.
It isn’t the first time Lewis has joined activists since the Occupy protests. Lewis appeared at protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, an event that shook the city and for many highlighted the divide between police and the communities they patrol.
“I want to try and get a message to mainstream America that this system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites,” Lewis said at the time, according to the Huffington Post.
Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis is arrested for joining the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. pic.twitter.com/7CXgPSyvyf
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Lewis, who retired from the Philadelphia police force in 2004, settled his Occupy arrest case in 2012, the Associated Press reported. He could be seen during the protest holding a sign that read “NYPD Don’t Be Wall Street mercenaries” before being arrested, along with about 300 other people in 2011, the Daily Mail reported.
The Occupy protests tried to put in the spotlight how corporate interests influenced the political elite in the United States, while pointing out wealth inequality as well, the Atlantic reported. Lewis criticized New York at the time of the Occupy protest for not having perspective on what is important.
— Brandon Blackwell (@BlackwellTweets) January 6, 2016
“They complained about the park being dirty. Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park,” Lewis said, according to the Daily Mail. “That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting.”