by Trang Do
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A multicultural crowd came together Saturday night at the corner of N. Mascher and W. Cambria Streets in Fairhill for the fourth protest in as many nights in Philadelphia.
Philly Coalition for REAL Justice organized the demonstration. Some group members have rallied against police brutality for decades.
“Nothing has changed, if anything, it’s getting worse,” said protester Kamau Becktemba. “The only thing that’s going to change is the people. It’s nothing going to come from the establishment it’s going to come from the people rising up to put an end to it.”
Dozens of officers were on hand to ensure no one got hurt as the crowd spread their message through the streets of North Philadelphia.
“This is what we do every day,” said Inspector Michael McCarrick, commanding officer of East District. “We are here regardless of what the message is. We are here to make sure everyone is safe and goes home safe.”
Sharrie Speight has three sons and her two youngest joined her at the rally. She said she fears for their safety.
“I got a son that’s almost 6’4″ that’s going to college,” she said. “That can be labeled at any given time as a thug, as anything. And I fear for his safety and as well as the ones who come up behind him, and as well as the other children who are growing up in our communities.”
A group of about 300 ended the night outside the 24th/25th police district in Juniata Park, where a line of officers waited to receive them. At one point protesters yelled profanities at officers directly in their faces, but for the most part remained peaceful.
“It’s people not censoring themselves, and that may seem confrontational, but it’s just people speaking their minds,” said Paris, one of the protesters.
A few people like Joe McGinely showed up to thank police.
“I just want to let them guys know we support them for what they do. They’re protecting us,” he said.
One person was arrested after the protest for shining a laser at a police helicopter.
KYW’s Andrew Kramer contributed to this report.