Greenwich High School students plan protest against police brutality

A protest against what Greenwich High School students are calling unequal treatment of minorities at the hands of police officers is planned for Monday morning.

The protest, known as a “die in,” is being organized by student government president Blake Reinken and others and will take place Monday morning at 11:40 a.m. at the GHS front courtyard. The event is being called “GHS Can’t Breathe” and is in tribute to Eric Garner who died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York Police Department officer while he was being arrested for selling loose cigarettes. Chokeholds are banned by the NYPD and the medical examiner ruled Mr. Garner’s death a homicide but a grand jury last week did not file any criminal charges against the officer.

This comes after last month a grand jury in Missouri didn’t bring charges against a police officer in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown who was unarmed. The officer claimed he acted in self defense and the grand jury backed his claims but there has been much controversy about the decision. These two incidents have led to protests across the country.

Blake released a statement on Sunday night explaining the nature of the protest.

“Greenwich High School students will attempt to further the national discussion and start a discussion in our own community about the relationship between law enforcement and minorities by having a protest against discrimination towards minorities by law enforcement officials tomorrow at 11:35 a.m. in our school’s front courtyard,” he posted on Facebook. “The protest will involve staging a ‘die-in’ at exactly 11:40 a.m. where we lay on the floor in silence.  We are expecting about 150-300 students to attend.”

According to the Greenwich Time, which first reported the protest, there will be speeches and questions after the protest. The protest is not sanctioned by Greenwich High School and it is unclear if there will be attempts made to stop it. “Die in” protests have become quite common after the death of Mr. Garner, whose last words, “I can’t breathe” have become galvanizing for those that say justice was not served by the grand jury’s decision.

A Facebook page has been set up about the event and can be viewed at Facebook.com/events/1506937469583030/?pnref=story

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