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Protest, die-in targets Tallahassee Police Department tasing

By Michael Sampson |
October 25, 2014
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Oct. 22 die-in at Tallahassee Police Department.
Oct. 22 die-in at Tallahassee Police Department. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tallahassee, FL - Dozens of African American students joined with community members to protest and then conduct a die-in at the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) on Oct. 22. Protesters held signs reading “Black lives matter,” and “Justice,” while chanting against police brutality. 

Angelique Fullwood, with the Tallahassee Dream Defenders led the rally with, "We are ready for change, Police Chief DeLeo. We don't care about your press conferences. We care about the lives of Black people in this country and in this city that are subject to police violence daily.”

Protesters want Police Chief Michael DeLeo to arrest TPD Officer Terry Mahan. Mahan is the corrupt police officer that tasered 61-year-old African American woman Viola Young in the back earlier this month. Tallahassee Dream Defenders rallied two weeks earlier, demanding State Attorney Willie Meggs' file charges against Mahan. Meggs' office dropped charges against Viola Young the next day. Meggs even called the tasing of Young "unnecessary." Now the matter is in the hands of Police Chief DeLeo. DeLeo came out to see the protest, but refused to discuss the case, claiming the case is under investigation.

"It's like the police have another special privilege in how they are protected even if they break the law," said Delance Burnsides, a Florida State University Dream Defender. "That's why we came here to the belly of the beast. To demand Chief DeLeo and the police address the people's concerns." 

Protesters read off the names of those killed by law enforcement as they staged a die-in in front of Police Chief DeLeo and other police officers. Many cities held rallies against police brutality on Oct. 22.