WASHINGTON — They were old and young, black and white, and they all wanted to make one thing clear: The fight against racism inside and outside of law enforcement won’t end in 2015.
Nearly 100 people gathered at the Westfield Wheaton Mall to stage a New Year’s Day demonstration and “die-in” to spotlight the problems that sparked violence after the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. They held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and after the gathering inside, left the mall chanting “No Justice, No Peace!”
Ken Buckner, marketing director at Westfield Wheaton, said the group had approached the mall ahead of time and were granted permission for an orderly demonstration. A number of Montgomery County police officers were in the mall during the event, but kept a low profile — hanging back from the roped-off demonstration area and assisting with traffic flow outside when protesters crossed the street and headed to the nearby Metro station.