Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, April 25, 2019

Black Lives Matter activists to protest mayor’s press conference

When Mayor Muriel Bowser details a new proposal to combat gun violence in the city on Thursday morning, a group of local Black Lives Matter activists who are upset about her plans to ask for greater police power say they intend to protest.

Bowser will push for legislation that would give D.C. police power to search individuals under parole or probation at any time and detain them for up to 72 hours if found in violation of even minor laws, according to the Washington Post.

A flier circulated on Twitter Wednesday afternoon by the group Black Lives Matter DMV urging people to attend Bowser’s press conference tomorrow in Southeast and oppose her plan. Aaron Goggans, D.C. resident and a member of the group, said in an interview with District Wire he is concerned the mayor’s proposal will lead to stop and frisk policing tactics.

Goggan doesn’t predict a huge turnout — “I don’t know how many people will be free 10:30 on a Thursday,” he said — but he hopes the meetup will at least spark a discussion about policing. He says attendees will wear black and bring signs to the press conference, which will be held at 1351 Alabama Ave SE.

“We want the mayor to focus on alternatives that actually create stability in communities…The mayor and [Police Chief Cathy Lanier] are using the city’s understandable concern about the uptick in homicides in order to reinvest in militarized policing and stop-and-frisk tactics,” Goggan said.

The mayor’s office did not immediately return requests for comment.

The District has had 103 homicides so far this year, according to D.C. police, just two less than in all of 2014.

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