A large number of protesters, mainly mothers who have lost their children due to police brutality, have taken to the streets of the US capital to call for an end to police brutality and racial injustice.
The “Million Moms March” began on Saturday from the US Capitol and ended at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The demonstration came on Mother’s Day to show the anger the mothers still carry for their children’s deaths, organizers said.
The demonstrators demanded changes in police practices, an issue in the US that has been gaining momentum after massive demonstrations and riots were witnessed in the latest cases of police brutality against minorities, specifically African-Americans.
The march was organized by Mothers for Justice United, an organization of mothers whose children have been killed by law enforcement authorities, and the Coalition for Justice.
Mothers for Justice United, said that it aims to stop the “epidemic of the killing of unarmed people of color by police,” while citing the deaths of unarmed black men such as Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York, and most recently Freddie Gray of Baltimore, Maryland.
The founder of Mothers for Justice United, Maria Hamilton lost her son, a 31-year-old black man, who was shot over a dozen times and killed by a policeman in the state of Wisconsin last year.
The police officer who killed her son just a little over a year ago was fired but never charged with a crime.
As one of the organizers of the event, she told local media that, "This is a call for everybody to wake up. We are here on behalf of our babies to tell the United States government that we aren't going anywhere. We aren't going to continue to keep burying our babies. Do something and do it now."
“We want the federal government to change the laws across the board,” she also said.
The demonstrations were, according to organizers, scheduled to be nationwide on Saturday and Sunday. Many were expected to join the rallies across several cities in the US including Chicago and other cities.
"Black Lives Matter", an umbrella group of black civil rights activists notorious for leading anti-police demonstrations across the US including in Baltimore recently was also one of the organizers of the ongoing nationwide event.
According to statistics, white police officers kill black suspects twice a week in the US, an average of 96 times a year.
A report released by USA Today in November stated that “of 3,538 police departments investigated, black people are more likely to be arrested than non-black racial groups for every type of criminal charge.”