Students hold candlelit vigil against police brutality

Ellen McCusker

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Following the news in the last weeks not to indict the officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Loyola students came together to plan a candlelit vigil around the Iggy statue in the Peace Quad.

Faculty and students responsible for planning the ceremony began to pass candles out to students at 7 p.m. Posters decorated with words such as “The system isn’t broken; it was built this way” and “Our lives matter” were also passed around for students to hold during the vigil.

Once the candles and posters were passed out to everyone, the students gathered around the Iggy Statue where Shawn Kelly began the vigil in saying, “can I just say how powerful this is right now?” Kelly then invited participants to light their candles as he read out the names of lives lost due to police brutality dating back to 2010.

Students then remained silent for 4.5 minutes as Michael Brown’s family requested of Ferguson protestors on Nov. 24. During this time, passing students also remained silent out of respect of the ceremony.

The vigil ended with a “speak out” in which students were invited to come to the center of the circle and talk about any injustices they had experienced. Many students came forward such as freshman, Jarrid Cooper, who spoke of being pulled over and searched by police officers for no apparent reason.

Cooper told the crowd “They eventually said they pulled me over because I was a young black man driving a BMW and they assumed I stole it.”

Carlantha Roberts, another leader of the vigil, stated at this time, “We have to continue these conversations with people other than our friends, other than people that look like us.”

Next semester the students who organized this event plan to begin “teach-ins” in which they continue this conversation with professionals and students to hear everyone’s side of the narrative and educate others. They encourage all Loyola students to participate.

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