In the early morning of April 7, an estimated 50 coalitions gathered in four different locations in Los Angeles, Calif., along with independent participants. The march began at 9 a.m. eventually converging in Downtown Los Angeles in front of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Colorful life-sized paper coffins cluttered the streets as protestors chanted, “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! These killer cops have got to go!”
Karl Scott, a protestor said, “I’m here for the police brutality and for the lack of security that has been going on; this includes the neglect for the people of Skid Row.” Mothers mourned as they were given the opportunity to speak out for the first time. Rebecca Lopez wept as she talked about her son Gabriel Lopez, who was unarmed and fatally shot by police in Los Angeles inside his home.
“It’s hard to ask a mother what she remembers about her son. Like you and I, Gabriel had the right to live,” she said.
“We do not feel safe with police occupying oppressed neighborhoods, because if they see a person of color they automatically assume they have a gun or sell drugs — whatever the case; I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees,” said Pete White, an activist who led a portion of the march.
An officer who requested to remain anonymous said, “People cannot assume that all cops are killers. There needs to be another side to the story. It seems that distrust and fear play a huge role in policing violent neighborhoods. You never know what could happen.”
T.C Comings, an aspiring musician from San Bernardino, said, “It’s important for me to be here today. My cousin, Trayvon Williams, 22, was killed by San Bernardino Police Department not too long ago. I want to represent my family and friends who died in the hands of police.”
No arrests were reported. It remained peaceful throughout the demonstration.
Photos by Pablo Unzueta