Black Lives Matter Protests Continue in Washington, DC

Cross-posted DC Media Group
by John Zangas

Washington, DC — The Movement for Black Lives continued protests to denounce recent killings of Black men on Saturday night in Washington, DC. The Stop Police Terror in DC Project, BlackLivesMatterDMV, BYP100 (Black Youth Project) and allies met at the African American Civil War Memorial and marched through city streets and into Georgetown. Once there they blocked traffic on the main M Street thoroughfare and then blocked Rock Creek Parkway.

The protest lasted over three hours, walking several miles through the city and resulted in no arrests. Many joined along the way, including activists, youth, and families.

The new protests came as video reports came to light of more killings by police of Black men. Delrawn Small, 38, was killed by an off-duty police officer in a road rage incident in Brooklyn, NY. A video published online countered claims by an off duty police officer that Smalls had allegedly punched the officer in the face. Smalls was shot less than two seconds after approaching the unmarked police vehicle.

Another man, Alva Braziel, 38, was shot 10 times by police in Houston, after he went looking for his horse which had gone missing. In that incident Houston police said that Braziel had brandished a firearm.

28184610386_41f0ee6bfb_zSmalls and Brazeil are the 655th and 671th individuals respectively killed by US police in 2016.

But Eugene Puryear, an organizer with The Stop Police Terror In DC Project, recognized that the Black Lives Matter movement had made progress.

“It’s only been a couple of years since we’ve been pushing, and already we’ve brought this issue to the forefront of the country,” said Puryear.

Yet a mass shooting of Dallas police officers during a protest Thursday night, which resulted in five police killed and seven wounded, cast doubt that unrest would end any time soon.

Puryear said that the Dallas incident was an unfortunate tragedy but was “not unexpected.”

“When you have a situation when over a thousand people are killed every year by police and no real resolution in the court system…it’s like putting a pot on boil and eventually it’s going to boil over,” said Puryear.

He said the increased national tension is moving the country towards a boiling stage, and change must now happen both socially and politically.

Reports of Black Lives Matter protests dominated the Sunday morning news. Protests were reported in major cities across the country as tensions rose over the spate of recent killings.

Area groups planned to hold a vigil at the African American Civil War Memorial Sunday night.

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