CLEVELAND – For the third night in a row, demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Cleveland, protesting a grand jury’s decision regarding 12-year old Tamir Rice. The panel chose not to indict two Cleveland police officers connected to the boy’s shooting death.
Marches through downtown lasted a little more than three hours Wednesday afternoon and evening. Protesters say they will continue until three demands are met…the resignation of Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty and the termination of both officers involved in the shooting.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom…it is our duty to fight for our freedom,” dozens of people changed as they left the Justice Center Wednesday afternoon.
Other chants included…”These killer cops walk the streets and so do we.”
Demonstrators say they are fighting injustice…upset that two Cleveland police officers will not face charges in the November 2014 shooting death of 12-year old Tamir Rice.
Officers shot Tamir to death as he reached for a toy gun at the Cudell Recreation Center…a gun police say they thought was real.
“We want action and that we want justice, so we gonna protest, but we’re not gonna tear up the town, but we’re not gonna stop until we get justice,” said Juanita McClain, who said she is Tamir’s aunt.
“No justice, no peace…no racist police!” they continued to chant.
The march wound through downtown, into Public Square…along the way demonstrators blocked intersections. Many times, Cleveland police directed traffic around them. But on foot, on horseback and in cruisers, officers showed up in force to prevent them from getting to “The Q” or other busy parts of downtown.
“There’s obviously a problem if it continues to happen like this…it’s pretty apparent to me, it’s a repetitive social injustice system,” said one demonstrator as she sat in the middle of Ontario and Euclid Avenues.
“The protest cannot stop, it cannot stop here…it cannot stop here, if it stops here it will happen again,” the protest organizer told the crowd.
As the evening went on, the crowd grew smaller. Protestors say they want to bring attention through disruption, not destruction.
“I’m sick of them not caring about a young child, a 12-year old child that was killed in two seconds by a police officer…like what is it gonna take for white people to care,” said one protester.
“People watching from the TV, how can you sit back and watch this stuff go on,” said another.
At one point, the protesters separated into two groups, but later reunited.
Although police threatened many times, no one was arrested.
Protest organizers announced to the crowd that they plan to demonstrate again Thursday night.