Gretna FL police kill Kaldrick Donald, residents protest
Tallahassee, FL- Over 50 people marched demanding justice in the police killing of Kaldrick Donald in Gretna, Nov. 5. Gretna is a small African American town just west of Tallahassee, where 30% of residents live below the poverty line. City Manager Antonio Jefferson and five full-time police officers rule the town of 1709 people.
On Oct. 28, Police Sergeant Charles Brown killed 24-year-old Kaldrick Donald in his own home. On that night, as on others, Juanita Donald called and asked police to take her son Kaldrick to a nearby behavioral health center. Officer Brown came in the house, tased her son, and then shot him dead in the bathroom. Juanita Donald was just steps away and witnessed her son cry out after Officer Brown’s first shot.
Greg J. Brown, the lawyer for Kaldrick Donald’s family said, “What I think we need to do, this group right here, is on the first Tuesday of month we will go to city hall. We must voice our concerns against those we have elected into power.”
In response to the police murder, the residents of Gretna showed their anger and marched down to city hall calling for the arrest of Officer Brown on Nov. 5. During the town hall meeting, residents gave testimony.
A close friend, Antwaun Causey, said, “I have been unable to sleep since the night of the incident. I still have pictures in my head of the incident. I had to help his mother clean up the blood. They shot him right in front of his pregnant sister. It is absolutely unconscionable the way the officer shot this man.”
Regina Joseph, with Dream Defenders at Florida State University, spoke for the students, “All over this country, Black communities are subjected to state violence and police terror and not much has changed over the past 200 years. Everyone from the city manager to the police department is corrupt and has exploited the town of Gretna both economically and physically.”
The African American people in Gretna are fed up with the oppressive conditions they face in the South. The people of Ferguson, Missouri showed there is a way to fight back and people are no longer afraid to stand up. The small town of Gretna echoes that sentiment and people are yearning to find a way to change the conditions of their daily lives.