Protesters Stage ‘Die-Out’ In Front Of Champaign County Courthouse
Twenty protesters laid on the sidewalk outside the courthouse as Kadeem Fuller read the names of fifty black men and women who had died at the hands of police officers.
Fuller says the display was meant to be a catalyst for change.
“It doesn’t take hundreds of people to incite change in your community, it just takes the will to want to see civil rights restored, and also human rights,” said Fuller.
The die-out was organized to remind people of the injustices African Americans face in the community and in the courtroom.
Lead organizer for the Black Lives Matter chapter, Evelyn Reynolds was among the protesters.
She said among other racial injustices, today’s die-out also protests the continued employment of Champaign Police officer Matt Rush, who has been named in multiple use-of-force lawsuits.
“We’re hurt, we’re scared. When people like Officer Rush are able to go back to work, it concerns me that maybe I’ll be on that long list of people who have already been killed,” said Reynolds.
Rush was fired from the force last year, but his police union fought to restore his job through binding arbitration.
Later today, groups will protest Rush's employment with the Champaign Police.
Several streets in the downtown Champaign area will be closed tonight between 5:00pm until the end of the Champaign City Council meeting to accommodate a community march and rally.
Participants are expected to march from the Champaign police department to the Champaign City building at 6:15.