Community protests police brutality in Fort Collins

Megan Fischer

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A group of about 30 Fort Collins residents stood in Fort Collins’ Old Town Square and marched to Oak Street Plaza Friday evening.

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According to Chynna Brown, who organized this protest as well as a previous protest in Fort Collins Dec. 6, the protest is about making people aware of police brutality.

“My main thing is to just spread awareness as to what is going on in our community,” Brown said. “It happens in Fort Collins, it just doesn’t get recognized.”

The event started with what protesters referred to as a “die-in” in Old Town Square. Members of the group held signs saying “stop police brutality,” and “I can’t breathe.”

Protestors then marched to Oak Street Plaza singing This Little Light of Mine and chanting while holding their signs before another “die-in.”

One of the attendees, Bre Lembitz, was dressed as Lady Liberty for the protest.

“Privilege means having a seat at the table,” Lembitz said. “As someone of privilege, I think it is important to keep pulling up chairs to that table.”

According to Lembitz, the second “die-in” lasted 4.5 minutes for the 4.5 hours Michael Brown was left alone before being taken to a hospital.

“Even when they transported him, they put him in the back of a truck,” Lembitz said.

After returning to Old Town Square, the group was approached by two supporters, Ron Johnson and Valarie Ellis. Johnson approached Lembitz, who was holding a sign that said, “black lives matter,” and addressed the group.

“This started in St. Louis, my hometown,” Johnson said, “For the first time I have been here, I actually see someone outside of my race standing up for me.”

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Ellis said for there to still be a racial barrier in the United States is sad. She also thanked the group for their efforts.

“To realize in 2014, almost 2015, and we are still as segregated as we were is very sad,” Ellis said.

As the protest came to an end and and protestors began to go home, Johnson took the sign that said “black lives matter,” and stood with it in the square.

“The silence, it ends tonight,” Johnson said.

Collegian Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegFischer04.