Students protest death of Freddie Gray, treatment of black community

By Kelly Bauer

Students called for unity in the black community and for an end to inequality at a Tuesday rally.

The rally was organized by Stephen Samuels, graduate adult and higher education student, to spread awareness of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Gray, who was black, died from spinal injuries after being arrested by police, sparking protests in Baltimore. Samuels said he was speaking to community members about the incidents in Baltimore and their “spirit was boiling,” leading to the rally in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commons.

Students created posters calling for equality and Samuels led a discussion about how black people are treated in the United States. Samuels said the organizer’s concerns were police brutality and economic issues.

“I do not want to be the next hashtag,” Samuels said during his speech.

Samuels encouraged students to become involved in DeKalb business and politics and to get to know local police departments.

“What I want [attendees] to take away is continue the dialog, continue the discussion, but also think in a positive manner,” Samuels said.

After the discussion, attendees were able to ask questions and share their thoughts. They called for students to be safe over the summer and for groups that support black students to unify and support each other.

Read the Northern Star on Thursday for full coverage of the rally.