The New York Urban League Young Professionals joined the “Justice for All” march in Washington, DC today. Thousands of demonstrators marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, chanting “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police,” “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” “Shut it Down,” and “I Can’t Breathe” to protest ongoing police violence towards unarmed Black men.
The National Action Network, led by Reverend Al Sharpton, organized the march. The families of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and other black men killed by police joined a wide range of civil rights organizations and demonstrators from different races, faiths, and viewpoints who all rallied for justice in police brutality cases.
The peaceful march left from Freedom Plaza and marched towards the US Capitol. An ocean of protesters made their voices heard that black lives matter and all lives matter. Satellite radio host Joe Madison AKA “The Black Eagle” emphasized that the protesters were carrying on the legacy of Civil Rights Movement leaders like John Lewis and Fannie Lou Hamer.
The New York Urban League Young Professionals were out in force as part of the National Urban League Young Professionals group, joining our YP family from Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.
National Urban League President Marc Morial spoke to the crowd and laid out the Urban League’s commitment to leaving the rally with a concrete commitment to specific policy reform. He laid out 10 specific points for members and allies of the movement to push for in their own communities and at the national level:
- Widespread Use of Body Cameras and Dashboard Cameras
- Broken Windows Reform and Implementation of 21st Century Community Policing Models
- Review and Revision of Police Use of Deadly Force Policies
- Comprehensive Retraining of All Police Officers
- Comprehensive Review and Strengthening of Police Hiring Standards
- Appointment of Special Prosecutors to Investigate Police Misconduct
- Mandatory, Uniform FBI Reporting and Audit of Lethal Force Incidents Involving All Law Enforcement
- Creation and Audit of National Database of Citizen Complaints Against Police
- Revision of National Police Accreditation System for Mandatory Use by Law Enforcement to be Eligible for Federal Funding
- National Comprehensive Anti-Racial Profiling Law
Summarizing a primary highlight and goal of the march and protest, Eric Garner’s mother urged protestors to keep the united, diverse movement going to make positive change. “Black, white, all races,” she said. “We need to stand like this at all times.”