Students write names on plaza in demonstration against police brutality

Tony Villalobos

Over 865 names were written in chalk on the LSC plaza in a demonstration against police brutality on Saturday.

The open demonstration was held by the Ethnic Studies Student Organizations in recognition of National Day Against Police Brutality.


Student write the names of 2016 police brutality victims on the LSC plaza. (Tony Villalobos May| Collegian)
Student write names of 2016 police brutality victims on the LSC plaza. (Tony Villalobos May| Collegian)

The names written were the names of people killed through police brutality in 2016, regardless of race. The demonstration aimed to build awareness to those affected by police brutality.

“It was not a confrontational protest, but more victim-centered,” said demonstration organizer Erica Lafehr. “The idea was to build an impact piece so people can understand the extent of death.”

Lafehr and the student organization wrote out names of victims and drew several body lines along the plaza for each name.

“We really wanted the student body to see these names and just think about the loss of live inherent to the conversation about police brutality,” Lafehr said.

The ETST student organization hopes to spark conversation among the student police of CSU in order to bring awareness to police brutality issues.

“I think when 30,000 students walk in the plaza, they will be able to see it and spark conversation,” said Angela Groves, senior Ethnic Studies and Psychology major. “If we get more people involved in the conversation we can get more people involved in the change.”

Lafehr said that she believes there will be some push back from students at CSU in response to the demonstration and that the current political state is ripe for that response, but hopes the demonstration will bring awareness to police brutality.

“In essence, I don’t care how they respond,” said Lafehr. “But at the same time, I hope it will elicit some kind of empathy. More so, my ultimate goal is critical thinking.”

This organization hopes to bring awareness to over 850 deaths in 2016 and to spike empathy from students who may see the names on the plaza. Groves believes there needs to be an institutional change in order to solve the problem.

“It’s not just police. I realize there are good police,” Groves said. “There are good people that work in these institutions, but these institutions need to change.”


Groves said believes there is not enough conservation about the issue.

“The biggest barrier we face is that people aren’t talking about it,” Groves said.

Reporter Tony Villalobos May can be reached at or on Twitter at @TonytheGnarly.