North Texas Daily

UNT students protest police brutality

UNT students protest police brutality

December 04
18:33 2014

Paul Wedding / Staff Writer

UNT students of many races and backgrounds gathered in front of Willis Library today for a lie-down protest against police brutality, and on a larger level, for the belief that all lives matter.

Around 150 students were at the event, some holding signs with statements such as “white silence = white consent,” “Who will survive in Amerikkka?” and one protestor held an upside down American flag with the message “Not my America” written in bold red letters. The protest was part of a national response to yesterday’s news that Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City police officer videoed killing resident Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, would not be indicted, just a week after it was announced that Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing Michael Brown.

The protest was a way for UNT students to come together over the issue. Many were scared or angry and felt the need to let their feelings be known. Throughout the protest, there were numerous students standing up to speak their mind in front of their peers.

“Police brutality is an issue that affects us all,” Black Student Union President Claudia Hullett said. “We can reach out and touch police brutality. This is everyone’s issue.”

Many connected the issue to racism, saying that racism has become ingrained in society. UNT Debate Team president Hope Sauceda spoke on the mistreatment of minorities in America today.

“We are like the fat kids in gym class: The last to be picked, but the first to be cut,” she said.

Many white people were also there in support of oppressed minorities and saw it as an issue for all Americans.

“There needs to be change enacted to uplift marginalized people,” drawing and painting freshman Madison Kline said. “[White people] need to elevate and project the voices of people of color without speaking over them.”

UNT NAACP president Brittany Burnam spoke on the importance of taking political action to let the government know how the community feels.

“Political action needs to be made,” she said. “As we are young, we need to care about what will affect us in the long run.”

Student Government Association president and former BSU president Troy Elliott was extremely proud of the UNT students who came to the protest, and also encouraged them to participate in the political structure if they wanted to see change.

“This isn’t just about race, this is a problem for America,” he said.

At the end of the protest, all of the students gathered around each other with their hands held and chanted in unison “black lives matter.”

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