Demonstrators gathered in North Philadelphia Monday night to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.
The protesters gathered at 6 p.m. on Broad Street and Erie Avenue and began marching down Broad Street. Protesters held up signs as well as a 125-foot-long scroll of women killed by police. Organizers say the purpose of the demonstration was not only to remember Brown but also to protest “police terror” and “court injustice,” while bringing attention to other men and women killed by police officers.
“We’re just coming together to stand in solidarity with the Ferguson action and to also just let the public know that we are here,” said Erica Mines of the Philadelphia Coalition for Road Justice. “Let the public officials know that we are here and that this movement is not something in Philadelphia that is going away anytime soon.”
The protest is one of many across the nation to commemorate the one year anniversary of Brown’s death. On August 9, 2014, Brown, 18, was shot and killed by former police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. While Brown was unarmed, Wilson insisted he shot in him and self-defense and that the teen, who was a suspect in a theft at a nearby convenience store, charged at him before he opened fire.
Brown’s death sparked a debate over police brutality and the use of force. It also spurred the national “Black Lives Matter” movement. The U.S. Justice Department and a St. Louis County grand jury cleared Wilson, who resigned in November, of wrongdoing. A separate Justice Department investigation of Ferguson's justice system found evidence of a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias by police.