COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – It was an all-too-familiar sight Saturday at the Ohio Statehouse as dozens of protesters gathered to call for justice in the killing of Tyre Nichols by police in Memphis.
Those at Saturday’s protest said they are fighting for justice for Nichols and his family and want to see real change made to the police force.
After the calls for racial justice across the United States since the death of George Floyd in 2020, protesters said they want to know why no fundamental changes have been made to stop these killings at the hands of police officers.
“When these really egregious cases come up, we need to take advantage of this energy,” said Candice Choo-Kang, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Dozens gathered at the Ohio Statehouse Saturday to call for justice for 29-year-old Nichols.
“America can change, we can do better,” said protester Pia Terrell. “Columbus is better than this.”
Video footage released Friday shows Memphis police officers beating Nichols during a traffic stop earlier this month.
Protesters said they were not only calling for justice for Nichols, but also fighting for justice for Donovan Lewis, Andre Hill, and others who lost their lives to police brutality.
“The people that are dying look like me, they look like my son, and everyone deserve justice,” Terrell said.
Everyone who marched Saturday did so for a reason; for Terrell, it’s for her son.
“He’s an amazing kid,” she said. “I would hate for somebody to mistake him for something that he is not and for me to lose my child, so that’s why I marched.”
Sydney Rentsch said she attended the protest to enlighten the community.
“In this case, a lot of people keep bringing up the police who did this were black and I think that just goes to show the point we’ve been trying to make,” she said. “It’s the policing system that causes this discrimination.”
Everyone said they are marching for meaningful change and to ensure not one more life is taken in this way.
“Overhauling the entire policing system in the United States is ultimately what we would like to see,” Rentsch said.
“We’re not going to rest until we get justice,” Choo-Kang said.
Protest organizers said they are already planning another protest for next weekend, and for however long it takes to get their message across.