The chant of “Black Lives Matter” were heard throughout downtown Wilmington at the height of the Monday rush hour.
It was meant to send a powerful message in the City of Wilmington.
The grand jury verdict in two separate racially charged cases in Missouri and New York brought hundreds of people in Delaware to join the same type of protest that brought thousands onto the streets of New York and Washington. It’s a growing movement that echoes the same message ……. Black. Lives. Matter.
“We wanted to make sure we showed solidarity for what has taken place across the nation,” said Dr. Donald Morton who led Monday’s demonstration in Wilmington. Morton, associate pastor at Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Church was joined by local churches, residents and the Wilmington Peacekeepers.
The decisions not to indict officers in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York that was captured on video and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. prompted the protest.
“We too have been affected by police brutality and violence against Black bodies locally,” Morton said.
Morton who supported Same Sex Marriage in Delaware is calling for a Civil Rights Commission in addition to the Human Rights Commission already established in Delaware.
Nearly 300 protesters started at 8th and King Streets and marched down to the intersection of 4th and King Streets for the ‘Die-in’. Delaware protesters are questioning whether there is really any justice when it involves prosecuting law enforcement.
“I hope people hear our voices, and that Black lives matter. As a matter of fact, all lives matter, but I hope that they understand that we are not standing down. No Justice. No peace,” said LaSean Shelton who fears for her children’s safety.
Earlier this month, President Obama introduced a $263 million federal package to arm police officers with body cameras and sharpen law enforcement training. It’s all in an effort to not only help police departments strengthen their community relationships but improve accountability as well.
“At first I was optimistic about it but what we saw with Eric Garner, and it was a complete detailed video of it and nothing happened. I’m not as optimistic anymore,” Shelton said.