Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati’s Protest

Black Lives Matter: Cincinnati’s Protest

by Camri Nelson

On April 9th a crowd of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters met on the steps of the Justice Center to passionately proclaim their testimonies of racism that they’ve experienced by the Cincinnati Police Department.

One of the protesters, Robin Scott, has been frustrated with CPD since September of 2015. On September 4th her son, Melvin Murry, was killed in a tragic car accident. According to Scott her son had hit a tree, and the officer, Krissy Johnson, claimed that he had made an illegal U turn which caused the accident. She became frustrated and angry after being informed about her son’s death hours after the occurrence. What made her even more upset was that five months later she found out that Specialist Johnson had called her son out of his name.

“I would not have ever known anything about my son when they were degrading him or belittling him if I didn’t do my investigation and I felt that it was a disrespect,” said Scott,

Scott believes that her son’s death wasn’t caused by reckless driving, but instead by the officer who may have hit the back of his car. She can’t be sure about what happened because the dash cam wasn’t on during the crash and the police vehicle didn’t have a license plate. It wasn’t until recently that she received some of the dash-cam footage.

Since the incident, she has had meetings with Chief Issac and he has assured her that he will look into disciplinary action for the officer. Her biggest issue with disciplinary action is that the officers only receive little if any counseling.

“Who are the supervisors in charge of the police officers when they are doing wrong? They need to admit that they did something wrong to my son,” she said.

During her speech to the audience Scott proclaimed that she will not stop fighting for justice. She stated that she will tell the story of her son to her fourteen grandchildren so that his death will not be forgotten.

“What I’m not going to do? I’m going to keep on talking, I’m going to keep on preaching, I’m going to keep walking in these streets and I’m going to keep, on and on,” she said.

Another protestor that day, Chris Harrell spoke about the racial profiling that he has continued to experience with CPD. Harrell has posted several videos on Facebook where has been arrested for doing nothing wrong. The particular video he spoke about on Saturday involved an officer on a bike who stalked him while walking down the street.

Harrell was just casually walking down the street with his recently purchased hot beverage when a police officer had insulted him with profanities.

“I turned around once I passed the second block and he looked back and asked me, ‘What the f— are you looking at, you got a f—ing problem?’,” said Harrell.

At that point Harrell felt a sense of hostility and became nervous so he took out his phone and began filming the incident. The officer eventually stopped Harrell to tell him that he had jay walked and that he would issue him a citation. Within a matter of seconds, he had grabbed him, threw his phone, and arrested him.

“They threw me in the back of the police car. They had no regards to my health or my life, period,” said Harrell.

Harrell believes that he is constantly harassed by the police because of his appearance which he believes is unfair. He claims that it is only when he is at work that he is respected by the cops.

“Every day, everywhere I go just because of the clothes that I wear, it’s like this you know. But when I have my hard hat on, and I’m dirty from putting up dry wall and painting all of these old buildings downtown they waive at me, they speak to me,” he said.

He hopes that people will realize that appearance does not define someone’s character. In his speech his emphasized the importance of all lives matters. He expressed his gratitude toward his supporters because they have helped spread the word about police brutality.

There is a Black Lives Matter Meeting every other Mondays at 6:15 pm at 527 W McMicken Ave. The public is welcome to come and bring their input.