UW Protestors Call For End To Police Brutality, Racism

Dec 11, 2014


Students protest police brutality at the University of Wyoming's Simpson Plaza.
Credit Caroline Ballard

A protest organized by University of Wyoming Students called for an end to police brutality, following grand jury decisions to not indict police officers in the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner.

Protesters chanted slogans like “hands up, don’t shoot”, “no justice no peace” and “I can’t breathe.” Black armbands dotted the arms of attendees and neon and cardboard signs were dispersed throughout the crowd.

In a speech during the demonstration, Tracey Patton, director of African American and Diaspora Studies, called for a Vice President for Diversity on campus, as well as a teach-in about issues of race.

"I think silence is the biggest issue. Because we are a society that has that 'live and let live' motto and that's a wonderful motto but sometimes we need to be able to just need to stand up and speak," she said.

But not everyone who observed the protest agreed that racism is an issue in Wyoming.

Cory Schroeder is a student at UW and watched the demonstration. He said he respected the students' right to peacefully protest, but wasn’t convinced their demands were merited.

"I’ve never heard anyone say “Black lives don’t matter” so I don’t think there’s something to be protesting there. On the two cases I just agree with the cop’s side," he said.

A few counter-protestors attended as well, chanting slogans like “pants up don’t loot” and holding signs that called to “Save the Dolphins” and “Finish Half Acre”, referring to the Half Acre Gymnasium renovation.