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Crowd rallies in East Liberty against Ferguson shooting

About 60 people attended a rally Saturday afternoon in East Liberty to protest the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer.

“We mobilized around Ferguson, but we plan on staying vigilant,” said Celeste Scott, 38, of Beltzhoover, who co-organized the event.

The protest at Penn and Highland avenues included reading the names of unarmed black people killed by police nationwide, calls to end police brutality and calls for business boycotts to enact change.

It included a 4 12-minute moment of silence, which represented the 4 12 hours that Michael Brown’s body lay in the street in Ferguson after he was shot.

A coalition of activists and concerned citizens organized the protest, said Scott, who has a 16-year-old son.

“And I’m out here because I would never want to experience this,” she said in reference to Brown’s death.

Co-organizer Donna Ray, 36, of East Liberty has a 20-year-old son.

“What can you tell your kids? … It’s like open season every time you turn on your TV,” she said.

Ray said one reason she got involved is that her son is a close friend of Leon Ford, 21, who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of being shot five times by Pittsburgh police Officer David Derbish during a 2012 traffic stop in Highland Park.

Derbish claimed the shooting was in self-defense.

A student protest for Ferguson is planned for 4 p.m. Monday at Community College of Allegheny County in the North Side, and a student rally against police brutality is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday at Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or [email protected].


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