Children in Philadelphia staged a protest march Friday to bring awareness to the excessive police brutality going on nationwide.
Students from the Jubilee School in Philadelphia, the Workshop School, Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School, the Science Leadership Academy, Friends School Haverford, Masterman and Friends Select School convened at the Art Museum to City Hall.
This was the second such march. Last year, students and faculty organized a march in response to the suspicious death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray. He was arrested after a confrontation with police and was subsequently injured in a police wagon. Gray died from a severe spine injury.
“We just had a meeting and one of the students, Samara, she said, you know, ‘They keep having all these protests and nothing changes,” principal and founder of the Jubilee School, Karen Falcon, said to Philly Magazine. “And she said, ‘I think we should have a children’s protest. Maybe they’ll listen to the children.’”
After extreme backlash from the right, the Black Lives Matter movement has created an aura of intrigue around it. Questions asking if the movement is tied to the left, is it against all police, or if is it inciting anarchy and racial tension have created controversy.
Viral videos of brutal killings of Black and brown people by police have sparked national outrage. Citizens are calling for sweeping police reform that would include mandatory body cams. Many believe that the death of Ferguson, Missouri, teen Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the BLM movement was inevitable.
The city of Philadelphia has had its own troubles with police brutality and their use of excessive force.
Jonathan Josey was fired from the Philadelphia Police in October 2012, but he maintained that he did not intend to strike Aida Guzman, a reveler whom he thought had thrown beer on officers conducting a traffic stop, reports the Huffington Post.
Josey punched Guzman so hard that she fell to the ground. This case went nationwide after the video of the incident went viral.
The Philadelphia children’s march was to show that even young people want police transparency.
“We have students that have parents who are police,” Falcon said. “We stress that this is not all about all police.”
Nine-year-old Jabril Nuriddinsaid he was marching because many people have “died innocent just because they was either colored or the cop just thought it was suspicious and didn’t know what was really going on.”
The event has had a positive response on the community and there may be plans to host the march annually.