Princeton Groups Plan Protest in Wake of Ferguson Decision

Protesters at a rally after the Ferguson shooting in August.
Protesters at a rally in Princeton in August after the Ferguson shooting.

A group of Princeton area residents plans to gather at Tiger Park in front of Palmer Square Tuesday at 6 p.m. to protest the fact that the police officer in Ferguson, Missouri who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown will not be indicted.

The Coalition for Peace Action is co-sponsoring a rally for racial justice and non-violence in Ferguson and America. Organizers announced the rally before the prosecutor revealed the grand jury’s decision Monday night not to indict police officer Darren Wilson.

“If Officer Wilson is indicted, we will celebrate this decision as the first step toward justice for Michael Brown and we will build on this victory,” organizers wrote in a flyer about the event. “No indictment? We will join millions of outraged Americans throughout the country in building a movement honoring Michael Brown and others wrongly killed by police violence. We will organize to stop the militarization of the police and fight for a just society, free of poverty and violence.”

Similar protests are planned in Newark, New York, and Philadelphia.

“Today’s announcement reminds all Americans of the troubling reality of the treatment by police of communities of color in the United States. When Black, teen-age males are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than their white peers, we must acknowledge that we face a national policing crisis,” representatives for the Newark Communities for Accountable Policing said in a written statement.

“Ferguson may be a thousand miles away, but Newark communities also suffer from an absence of police accountability that has led to countless incidents of misconduct and abuse, including the use of excessive force, unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices, and racially disparate enforcement,” the statement read. “We too have a policing crisis in Newark. As our work to build a respectful, accountable, and transparent police department continues, we join in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and communities all across the United States fighting for justice and equality.”

The ACLU issued a statement calling on voters to push for more police accountability and systemic change. The ACLU is calling on supporters to urge the Department of Justice to release official guidance that would ban racial profiling by law enforcement officers.

“We can’t lose another young black person at the hands of the police. And we need to end racial profiling, excessive force, and unconstitutional policing practices,” wrote Anthony Romero of the ACLU. “Michael Brown’s death is a tragic loss to his family, community, and this nation. But because of this tragedy, and the protests that followed, national leaders are finally paying attention to racial profiling and discriminatory policing.

“We must not allow the killing of Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals across this nation to be in vain,” Romero wrote. “With enough widespread public pressure we can push our leaders to implement effective structural changes and transform policing across the country. It’s about time…Together we demand mutual respect from law enforcement and elected officials towards communities who are routinely and disproportionately targeted by police violence – particularly black youth. Too many lives have been lost and too many continue to be endangered.”