Peaceful protesters in East Lansing demand an ELPD Officer be fired

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) On Tuesday, more than 100 people fighting against police brutality marched around East Lansing, and in front of the East Lansing Police Department.

In addition to marching for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, they are fighting for justice for a local teen.

In February, 19-yr-old Uwimana Gasito sustained injuries to the face while being arrested by the ELPD. Officer Andrew Stephenson was investigated for using excessive force during the arrest. Following an internal investigation, ELPD determined Stephenson did not use excessive force.

Prior to the February incident Officer Stephenson was accused of a similar offense six weeks prior, and in two years Stephenson had five public complaints, all from people of color.

Farhan Sheikh-Omar, one of the organizers of the protest says they want Officer Stephenson fired.

“He’s been accused of racially profiling, he has been accused of being biased he has been accused of excessive force so what more needs to happen? Does he need to kill somebody? Is that when we will act?”

Protesters marched to the 7-11 when Gasito was arrested, and took a knee in solidarity. But everyone agreed, the movement does not end with the march.

“If you witness police brutality or excessive force you are required to intervene or you will be fired because of it and we need to have an intervention requirement here,” say Edmund G. Rushton, an organizer of today’s protest. Rushton says it was because of the Intervention requirement in Minneapolis that lead to the firing of the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest.

Rushton and Sheikh-Omar want to meet with the ELPD Interim Chief Gonzalez to address their concerns, and they encouraged everyone to vote.

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