Marching is not Going to Stop Police Brutality

Yesterday, thousands of people converged onto the streets of New York City to protest the unjust killings of Eric Garner, 43 and Akai Gurley, 28. Men, women and children gathered together to say a profound and resounding, “NO”, to the NYPD’s consistent attack on black lives.  It was a beautiful testament to the ability to organize peacefully. However, it will not do anything to stop the police brutality. Eric Garner’s killer will not see a jail cell, and neither will Akai Gurley’s.


With that being said after these series of marches is over, WE will go back to business as usual and it will be difficult not to without a strategic plan to combat the issue. Now, I am not blaming any one person for the lack of follow through in cases like these. However, I am pointing out that every year this happens, and every year we placate ourselves by demonstrating and protesting. I, for one, am tired of marching. I want people to stop marching. It does not breed results. It just doesn’t. You can peacefully protest from here to China, even while walking on water, and it will do nothing to end the unjust and unprovoked attacks on black bodies. Laying on the floor at Grand Central Station will not put a halt to the shoot-to kill-mentality many cops have when confronting black people.

What I am pleading for is a change in the way we think and the way we act moving forward. Here are a couple of ideas I have on what we need to do to end police and vigilante killing of black people:

  1. Create our own police force. If officers know that when entering our communities, they will have to deal with another entity while caught misbehaving, I believe they will be less trigger happy.

  2. Gain economic, political, and educational strength. People respect communities with real economic power. When a community has economic power, they are able to influence politicians to do things in their communities best interest.

  3. Self love and self determination. We must teach our kids to love their melanated selves. When a people love themselves, they do not allow themselves to be treated flagrantly.

Those are just some of the solutions I propose. What about you?


Ashley Akunna is the host and creator of The Grapevine, a talk show that focuses on the voice of millenials. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thegrapevinetv

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