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‘Justice for All’: NE Ohioans join Tamir Rice family, protesters at D.C. march

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Washington D.C. -- Thousands of people from all over the country converged on the nation's capitol Saturday, calling for an end to police brutality.

Protesters marched the streets of Washington, D.C., upset over confrontations that have killed young men nationwide, including Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old, in Cleveland.

Rice's mother joined other families, calling for justice and a stop to what they call violent and unfair treatment of Africans by police.

A busload of Clevelanders arrived in Washington Saturday morning to join in the "Justice for All" march and rally.

"I see this as a time and space for us to come together and say we can do better," said Benita Rollins, of Canton.

"I think it's time that young black males, such as myself, be the ones that stand up and come here and put in the time to say enough is enough, it stops today," said Dwayne Jacobs, of Cleveland.

Fox 8's Kevin Freeman caught up with the family of Rice in the lobby of a downtown hotel.

On Nov. 22, Tamir was shot by a Cleveland police officer at Cudell Recreation Center while pointing and playing with what turned out to be a toy airsoft gun. He died the next day.

Samaria Rice was joined by the mothers of Michael Brown, shot to death by an officer in Ferguson; Eric Garner, who died after an officer put him in a choke hold in New York; and Trayvon Martin, the Florida boy who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.

"I'm blessed, and the world around me has given me all the love and prayers and that's been holding me up," said Samaria Rice.

"They just went through what we went through three months ago, so it's good to see them standing because it's a hard process," said Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden.

"I think the Tamir Rice case is one of the most egregious things that we've ever seen," said Rev. Al Sharpton, who organized the event.

The morning began with a vocal and energetic rally at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington where thousands of people from all over the country came to give a powerful message.

After the rally, Sharpton led the massive crowd down Pennsylvania Avenue. Samaria Rice and the other mothers marched at his side. Many chanted, carried signs, and wore shirts demanding change. The group included young and old, and people of all different races and nationalities.

"I'm here to become more knowledgeable of other people's stories and I want to learn, as much as I want to be involved," said Hannah Kearney, a college student at George Mason University.

"My parents raised me to believe that unfairness to anyone is unfairness to everyone," said George Mason student Maggie Fischer, who is originally from New Jersey.

These determined protesters marched and chanted for nearly 15 blocks to take their message all the way to the United States Capitol.

"I think it's very powerful, we need a voice, it's been too long, I can't believe over 300 years we're still out here protesting this," said Bishop Walker, of Shaker Heights, who attends Howard University in Washington.

Sharpton says he is calling for President Obama and Congress to change laws, including allowing federal juries to hear evidence in police-involved killings. He and the thousands of marchers say relations between the police and African-Americans must change.

"I think it's very important that this happens we need changes in legislation, not just protests, but to actually make some things happen," said Walker.

 

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