WASHINGTON — For days, protesters in Washington DC have focused their rage at the White House. But on Wednesday, they took their case against police brutality to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue: Congress.
Taylor Hawkins, 25, lives in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland and came downtown to deliver one message to Capitol Hill.
“We’re tired of being killed by police for no reason. And we’re tired of not seeing any justice be served. Police out are out here and they’re not getting any time for it. Everything is corrupted,” she told VICE News.
She grew emotional when she described the video of George Floyd being killed by a white cop. “When they picked his body up off the ground, his dead body like he was roadkill, they didn’t even unhandcuff him.”
Hawkins joined a diverse crowd to march to the Capitol. There was chanting, waving of signs, and plenty of water bottles and snacks passed through the crowd to keep the peaceful protestors energized.
Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for various legislative ways to curtail police brutality: financial incentives for states to require fair and impartial police training; independent prosecutors to conduct investigations into deadly use of force; and demilitarizing local police forces.
But not much has happened, even with weeks of protests in Ferguson following the killing of Michael Brown in 2014.
Steps away from the Senate chamber, Ricky White, 27 years old, had this message for lawmakers.
“Look at us as you would yourselves. You wouldn’t want to go through this. Nobody would want to go through this, so why is it fair that minorities have to face these crimes or these unsafe practices? This is not right for anybody. So I would, I would hope that they see all the people outside the buildings and say that today, change needs to come,” he said.
One of the more vocal members of Congress has been Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), who joined the protests Tuesday. She told VICE News that Trump “took it to a new low” when he cleared peaceful protestors using gas on Monday evening for a photo outside a church, and urged protesters not to let this moment go to waste.
“We can’t let this moment pass without change,” she said. “It is not enough to stand up and say it was wrong. We have to make change so it doesn’t happen again and again and again. An important part of that is to change policing practices.”
Cover: Protesters against police brutality march from the White House to Capitol Hill on June 3, 2020. (Photo: VICE News)