Large demonstration against police brutality planned for tonight in front of the courthouse.
By Adriana Ruiz and Christopher A. Hernandez
Two students from this college, on opposing sides of a protest over last night’s Ferguson verdict, scuffled today after a demonstration near this college.
A group of about 10 students from this college protested across the street from this campus on San Pedro Avenue after the news of a grand jury’s decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
The group of protesters chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, racist cops have got to go,” and “fight back” as they encouraged drivers to honk and onlookers to join the protest.
Paramedic sophomore Chris Woollen joined the protest in support of the verdict with a sign that said, “I support Darren Wilson.”
As the protesters later marched through campus, education sophomore Ricardo Henriquez grabbed Woollen’s sign in an attempt to tear it.
“There was an issue with a young man having a sign ripped up,” said Alamo Colleges Police Deputy Chief Joe Pabon. “One of the kids confronted another student.”
The two men pushed each other before another protester separated them.
Henriquez said the group, along with other protesters, will have a larger demonstration 6:30-9 p.m. tonight at the courthouse downtown, 300 Dolorosa.
Woollen said the protesters were unaware of the facts and were attempting to make the issue about race.
He said instead of making this a racial issue, the protesters should fight for equality.
Brian Garner, environmental science freshman and protester, said he and the other students were protesting to bring awareness to the injustice of the case.
“The cop — the punishment is very small, very minute,” Garner said. “They (the police) are getting away with murder.”
Garner said protesting brings awareness to the issue because it is the only way to make a change.
He said he agrees with the riots in Ferguson and there should be more. He said as long as the word gets out and attention is brought to the issue, it is a gain.
“There needs to be more here in San Antonio,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s good or bad, but if it gets attention…”
Garner said in the 1960s protests made a difference, and he believes protests are the only way to make change.
Henriquez said he does not believe the demonstrations in Ferguson are riots, though news outlets reported some protesters started fires and destroyed property.
He said he believes the media is sensationalizing the young people in Ferguson.
The local group has protested police brutality on many occasions near this college, and today they walked through the mall and chanted with their signs. But because they are not registered as a group at this college they are not allowed to protest on campus.