New Year’s Eve revelers planning to hit the town in Washington, D.C., might find it a bit harder to make it from place to place. Protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement plan a rally downtown to spotlight police killings of African-Americans.
The rally is to begin at 7 p.m. at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station and then proceed to the Chinatown neighborhood, the event’s Facebook page said. The groups participating in the event said they want to effectively shut down Chinatown, a hopping nightlife area in the capital, during New Year’s Eve. By Thursday morning, about 580 people said on Facebook they would be going.
Among the many police killings of blacks in recent years, the groups involved — including Black Lives Matter DMV, Stop Police Terror Project DC, Black Movement Law Project and Law 4 Black Lives — are highlighting the cases of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in a Texas jail cell this year, and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy killed by police in Cleveland in 2014.
“We will not go in to a new year without demanding immediate justice in both cases,” the event’s Facebook page reads. “We can no longer express our rage, disappointment and fear alone or in silence.”
In both Bland’s and Rice’s cases, prosecutors did not indict authorities on any charges. A grand jury decided three days before Christmas that no sheriff’s officers or jailers were responsible in Bland’s death, but other indictments are expected to be considered in January, ABC News reported.
ICYMI: Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati rallies with Cleveland for Tamir Rice, others killed by police. Their... https://t.co/8sdKmnp9Vj
— Evan Millward (@EvanMillward) December 30, 2015
The official cause of death for Bland was suicide in her jail cell, but her family doubts the determination. Bland was pulled over July 10 in Texas for failing to signal when changing lanes, and the trooper who pulled her over told her to exit the car, partly because she wouldn’t put our her cigarette. The officer then told Bland he would pull her out of the car, and threatened to “light her up” with a stun gun.
— Pete Perry (@pete4peace) December 30, 2015
This week, a grand jury declined to indict the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot Rice, who was playing with a pellet gun when he was shot in November 2014, the New York Times reported. “We are going to protest the unacceptable but not surprising non-indictments in both cases,” the event’s Facebook page read.