ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Hundreds of University of Michigan students and others have braved sub-freezing temperatures and blustery winds to lie down in the middle of campus to protest the lack of charges over the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of police.
Participants lay on the cement Wednesday at the crossing known as the Diag to call attention to the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Grand juries in both cases have declined to indict the officers involved.
Temperatures were in the upper 20s, with north winds gusting to 20 miles per hour during the hour-long afternoon protest.
Junior Imani Gunn says she’s pleased that non-black students turned out in large numbers to join her and other black students.
“I think that is so important that this is represented by black faces, but I also want to express how important allies are to this movement.”
Student Sam Parker says she sees police killings of minorities as a race issue but more than that.
“It’s engrained in people’s minds that black men are dangerous and that police officers are bad. Neither of those things are inherently true. I think socioeconomic issues contribute to it, education contributes to it, and a lot of other issues factor into it. It’s a problem, though, and it needs to be dealt with,” Parker said.