LANSING—On July 8, Lansing Residents United (LRU) gathered at city hall to protest against police brutality within the city and to hear the concerns of the community.
The protest was organized after a video surfaced weeks ago of a Lansing police officer assaulting a teenage girl for resisting arrest.
The incident is still under investigation and the officer will remain off duty for the remainder of the case.
“We believe that over-policing and not using proper policies and procedures is problematic in the city of Lansing,” said LRU member eshia Johnson.
The significance of the rally was for Lansing Residents United and other community residents to gather and share their unfortunate narratives involving over-policing and what they believe should be done to better service Lansing residents.
“I believe that there is still racism in this country and even the police force,” said Black Lives Matterember Kathy Yates. “My family and I were lied to by the state police and they tried to put us against each other.”
Rally members stood in support and even carried signs stating, “LPD Accountability,” “Lansing Residents United,” and “No to police violence.”
Preceding the rally, LRU members asked all attendees to sign a form that was drafted by the organization that outlined issues of concerns within the community that they would like for Mayor Andy Schor to correct.
Rally members then formed a single line to personally hand their letters in to Schor’s office located on the ninth floor of City Hall.
Schor stepped out of his meeting to greet everyone, listen to their comments and accept their letters.
A rally attendee addressed Schor, “You not only need the police to be trauma-informed but also the community, to find out the biology of stress and the science of hope.”
Many attendees took the opportunity to express their disappointment in how the Board of Police Commissioner is appointed by the mayor and not elected by the people of Lansing.
“There are a lot of people in positions that don’t speak for everyone and it is not appropriate that those are the only people that you are listening to,” said Johnson.
Schor said that his team and himself are listening to the concerns of Lansing residents and that he will read the hand written letters that were given to him to make the best decision possible.
Some rally members were content with Schor’s response while others demanded more.
“We elected you and we are here to tell you that we have these narratives that will continue to grow and we will not stop until you hear us and we see direct action,” said LRU member Karrington Kelsey.
The City Hall hallways then echoed the chant, “We’re for Lansing, are you?”
“Thank you for coming, I am listening and I will be sure to read all of your letters,” Schor responded.
After every letter has been collected and every voice has been heard, attendees then prepared to exit City Hall.
Some attendees believed that their voices were still not heard.
“It’s the same old thing,” said LRU member Michael Lynn Jr. “It’s just to get us out of his face, there’s no real action being taken.”
The members of Lansing Residents United look forward to their fight for the rights’ of the community through hosting more rallies and continuing to spread the word.