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Florida State students demand justice for Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland

By Katherine Draken

FSU students demand justice for Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland

Tallahassee, FL – A group of students gathered on the Florida State University (FSU) campus, Jan. 12 to demand justice for victims of police murder, Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland. The students also demanded “No more grand juries – jail killer cops.”

In the murder of Tamir Rice, a twelve-year-old African American child gunned down by a police officer in a Cleveland park, the grand jury failed to indict. This failure comes despite a video showing the police officers aggressively driving up and within two seconds Officer Loehmann shooting the child dead without warning.

In the Sandra Bland case, she was an adult African American woman verbally abused, roughed up, and stomped on by a Texas State Trooper during a traffic stop. Three days later she was found hung in a jail cell. Not a single sheriff or jailer will face charges for her murder. The grand jury did indict Trooper Encinia for perjury, but not for “assault, battery or abuse of his official power”, according to the family’s lawyer.

At the FSU campus rally, students chanted “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” and “When Black people are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

Student activist leaders spoke to those holding protest signs. “These two cases are just two out of so many others – so many Black people who have been murdered by police over the last year, the last decades, the last century,” said Zachary Schultz of SDS.

“By us being here…it's the first step towards a real revolution,” said Regina Joseph of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, “it's important to come together and be organized.”

The students finished by expressing solidarity with the nationwide movement against police crimes, and especially with Chicago and Minneapolis where the struggle is sharp.

The rally was led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), who are campaigning against racism at FSU and demanding increased recruitment and retention of African American students to combat falling enrollments.

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