Protesters march on detention center

Miles Keenlyside | The Signal
Miles Keenlyside | The Signal

In solidarity with the National Day of Protest to End Police Brutality, protesters gathered in Woodruff Park to march to the Atlanta City Detention Center for a demonstration on Oct. 22.

Multiple organizations attended the march including Copwatch, an organization dedicated to documenting instances of police brutality; The October 22nd Coalition, a police brutality awareness group; and the Revolutionary Communist Party, a communist splinter group that promotes a communist revolution in the United States.

Miles Keenlyside | The Signal
Nicholas Heyward holds up a photograph of his 13-year-old son, Nicholas Naquan Heyward, Jr.

Friends and family of individuals killed by police aimed to raise awareness about their struggle with loss.

The first speaker to address the crowd was Nicholas Heyward, whose 13-year-old son Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. was killed by police in New York in 1994.

“Justice will be served. This is the time for everyone to walk together and start working on stopping police brutality,” Freda Waiters said. Her son Ariston Waiters was killed by a Union City police officer last December.

“We made contact with a lot of different organizations, a lot of mothers and fathers, people who have lost their children to police brutality. We’ve been on a lot of radio stations trying to get the message out to stop police brutality” Waiters said.

Mawuli Mel Davis, Freda Waiters’ legal representative, was also at the march encouraging Georgia State students to get connected with the movement to stop police brutality.

“This is a human rights issue. This isn’t just a civil rights issue. Students who are interested in changing this world ten to twenty years from now have to be involved in struggle. That will help inform them about what is going on,” Davis said.

The protesters left Woodruff Park to march down Peachtree Street and attracted many more people into the group along the way. The protesters chanted slogans such as “No justice, no peace, no brutal police” as they moved towards the Atlanta City Detention Center.

At the detention center, the group gathered to listen to additional speakers call for an end to police brutality. Many in the audience nodded in agreement and offered solace for those whose family members have been killed

Miles Keenlyside | The Signal

by the police.

“I think police brutality is one of the biggest problems in the United States,” Sopiko Japaridze, a demonstrator gathered outside the detention center, said. “So many people are getting brutalized all the time— especially people of color. You see young black men and the police don’t need any excuse to beat them or to jail them…I think that everyone should come out because it has to end at this point…We’re not here asking for the police to take it east on people because they won’t. We are here to organize so they can’t anymore.”