By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Students at Masterman High School today protested the justice system that failed to indict the officers they believe were responsible for the deaths of two unarmed black men.
Ty Parks was one of the student organizers of the “die-in” at Masterman, the magnet school (grades 5-12) at 17th and Spring Garden Streets.
“(After) the lack of indictment of Eric Garner’s killer, I woke up the next morning and I just felt like I had to do something. I had to be a part of the movement,” he said today.
Amijah Townsend, president of the African-American Cultural Committee, participated along with about 200 other students who played dead in the hallway for four and a half minutes, or sat nearby in solidarity with their peers.
“We realize that it’s not going to take a bunch of people just with sad feelings to make a change,” he told KYW Newsradio. “It’s going to take more protesting, activism, leaders, people who want to make a change and who are going to do that publicly — you know, willing to be those leaders of our generation, of our student body.”
The protest was to symbolize the 4½ hours that the body of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was left lying in the street in Ferguson, Mo., after he was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson.