Protesters demand justice for black man killed by police in Mississippi
A large crowd of people have gathered at a park in Stonewall, Mississippi to protest the death of Jonathan Sanders, an unarmed black man killed by a white police officer.
The furious crowd on Sunday kept shouting “No justice, no peace!” and threatened to boycott the local business to show their frustration with the inaction by authorities.
The protesters marched a mile to Stonewall Police Department and were addressed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president and the mothers of Sanders’ two kids.
Sanders, 39, was a horse trainer who was approached on the night of July 8 by 25-year-old officer Kevin Harrington.
According to witnesses, the cop confronted Sanders after being heard saying “I’m going to get that nigger!”
He then approached Sanders and reportedly proceeded to fatally strangle the man by holding him in a chokehold for 20 minutes.
Witnesses also confirmed that Sanders remained cooperative during the whole incident and the excessive amount of force by the officer was uncalled for.
An autopsy found that “manual asphyxiation” was the cause of death and law enforcement agencies have informed the victim’s family that the death was indeed a homicide.
A grand jury hearing is scheduled for August 31, and Harrington is on leave for the time being.
The case shares a lot of similarities with the death of Eric Garner, another unarmed black man who was killed in a chokehold, only this time by New York Police Department officers.
Despite making a $5.9 million dollar payment in compensation to Garner’s family by the police, the grand jury for that case did not find any of the officers guilty.
Garner and Sanders were clearly heard saying “I can’t breathe!” according to witnesses, but in both cases the officers prevented any attempts to keep the victims alive.