The Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Michael Brown marched arm in arm Saturday along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., protesting the recent deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.
Members of several civil rights organizations joined Sharpton in the Justice for All march, which began around noon and convened with speeches outlining to Congress a legislative agenda that included an end to police violence and a reform of the system that handles the indictment proceedings of officers involved in deaths.
“All over the country, we all need to come together and demand this Congress deal with the issues, that we need laws to protect the citizens in these states from these state grand jurors,” Sharpton said of why the Washington march was planned, USA Today reports.
Protesters gathered, rallied and marched nationwide, shouting “Hands up, don't shoot” and “I can't breathe,” referencing cases in which grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., declined to indict officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner respectively. Brown, 18, was shot by a Ferguson police officer in August. Cellphone video recorded in July showed Garner, 43, being wrestled to the ground in a choke hold applied by a member of the New York City Police Department. While in the officer's grip, Garner says, “I can’t breathe.”
The Associated Press noted that while protesters were gathered in the nation’s capital, other groups, including Ferguson Action, conducted similar Day of Resistance movements all around the country, including a large march in New York City.