On the chilly evening of Nov. 26, more than 30 people gathered at Caldwell Park in Pocatello, Idaho, to protest police brutality after a Bannock County Sheriff Deputy shot an unarmed 16 year-old passenger during a traffic stop in Chubbuck.
The protesters marched more than a mile from Caldwell Park to the Idaho State University Campus and back. As they marched the people chanted, “No justice! No peace! No killer police!” and “Hey hey! Ho ho! Police brutality has got to go!”
Other chants included, “When our friends and family are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “Protect and serve? That’s a lie! You don’t care when people die!” When the protesters returned to the park, a photo was taken of the group with their fists raised in solidarity for the boy who was shot.
Local newspapers have called the shooting “an altercation,” disregarding the fact that the victim made no attempt to harm the officer but was in fact running away. The teenager was rushed to the hospital after the shooting and is expected to survive, though details have been few and far between. As of yet, the officer’s name has not been released and he has been placed on paid leave.
Lexi Azzola, one of two main organizers for this event, said there was a dire need to support the victim of the shooting. “Cops should be punished when they do these things,” Azzola said. “I think a great way to hold them accountable and put this into action would be making sure cops have body cameras.”
Steven Findlay shared the same views as his fellow organizer: “We’re here protesting police brutality and abuse of power,” he said. “There have been too many times where police were too quick to use force.”
This marks the third police shooting of the month — all from traffic stops. On Nov. 2, an Idaho State trooper killed 35 year-old Jesse J. Quinton, a Black immigrant man in Idaho Falls. And on Nov. 19, another Idaho State trooper killed 41 year-old Christopher Williams. None of the identities of the officers in question have been released.
As offenses such as these come to light, more and more people realize that the police do not exist to protect the people, but rather to maintain order for a system built on brutal oppression.
Jail all killer cops! Justice for Jesse! Justice for Christopher! Justice for Pocatello!