CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hundreds of peaceful protesters are marching through Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood to promote racial and social justice.
“It’s nice to see all these people out here realizing how everybody should be treated equally," said 13-year-old Fasika Embacher.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Cleveland City Council and faith-based leaders are expected to speak at the rally.
“Everybody’s starting to get it," said Pastor Myron Edmonds with Grace Community Church. “Not just in this country, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany - people are starting to realize this is everybody’s problem.”
For the Embachers, it’s been an incredibly emotional time. Scott Embacher says he constantly worries about the safety of his two young sons.
“It makes me afraid every time he goes out,” said Embacher. “every time he goes out for a jog I worry that because of his dreadlocks and his brown skin that he might be seen as anything but this cute little boy that we know and love that he might be seen as a criminal and that breaks my heart.”
Lots of local politicians took the stage, promising that times are going to change. Many encouraged people to register to vote. They even had people available on site to help with that. Others encouraged the younger generation to become police officers and run for office.
“This time is different,” said Representative Marcia Fudge. “I’ve been through this a lot of times and even with all the things that are closed; the church is closed, the school is closed but let me tell you what’s open, Hope is open. This time it’s gonna be different we’re gonna make a change I promise you.”
Councilman Jones is asking the city to release a quarterly report of complaints against officer for transparency.
The nationwide movement gained traction on Wednesday after Derek Chauvin, the former policeman accused of killing George Floyd, was charged with second-degree murder.
Also, the three other ex-officers who were present when Floyd, 46, died were charged with aiding and abetting, according to court documents. Bail was set at $750,000 each for the three officers.
Floyd was pinned under the knee of Chauvin for nearly ten minutes and died of asphyxiation, according to video footage of the arrest and a private autopsy report.
An independent autopsy and Minnesota officials have ruled Floyd’s death as a homicide.
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