Five people were arrested by Sacramento Police on Friday night at Arden Fair mall for failing to disperse during a protest decrying a decision by a Ferguson Mo., grand jury this week to exonerate a white police officer who fired the fatal shots that killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man.
Carrying signs that read “Hands up. Don’t shop!” “No Justice. No Profits,” and “Black Lives Matter,” a group of about 60 demonstrators gathered Friday afternoon outside one of the mall’s entrances, while a police helicopter circled overhead. When protesters moved and blocked an intersection at the mall’s main entrance on Arden Way, police told them to disperse. When they didn’t, the arrests were made.
In a campaign organized on social media, similar demonstrations took place in New York, St. Louis and other cities across the country. Encouraged by black celebrities in the arts and film industries, the boycott effort urged consumers to refrain from shopping on Black Friday as a way to draw attention to the Ferguson case and other issues.
“The facts are there. The numbers are there. This is not random,” said protestor Cary Johnson outside Arden Fair, referencing the instances of young black men shot by police. He carried a sign that read “Am I Next?”
He said he hoped that rallies like Friday’s – timed for one of the year’s biggest shopping days of the year – will keep the issue in the public eye.
Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.