Protesters invoke different names to decry police treatment

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FILE - In this May 29, 2020, file photo, demonstrators march in Oakland, Calif. protesting the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis. The message from protesters around the United States is that George Floyd is the latest addition to a grim roster of African Americans to be killed by police or white civilians. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

CHICAGO – In Baltimore, protesters shouted the name of Freddie Gray. In Topeka, Kansas, T-shirts were emblazoned with the name of Dominique White. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, people gathered in a spot where white mobs killed hundreds of blacks a century ago and chanted the name of Terence Crutcher.

Across the U.S. as protesters poured into the streets to voice anger about last week's death of George Floyd, they also marked the occasion with reminders that the handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as on officer pinned him to the pavement with his knee on his neck is simply the latest addition to a grim roster.

Their stories have substantial differences, but protesters used their names and faces on posters to drive home the point that Floyd is part of a larger story about the dangers of being black in the United States.

"George Floyd is causing people in their own communities to recall, reflect and then get angry all over again about their own police killings,“ said Marshall Hatch, a Chicago minister who eulogized Bettie Jones, who was struck by a bullet from an officer responding to a domestic dispute at a neighbor's house that also left 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier dead in 2015.

Hatch said Floyd’s death has served as a reminder to continue to push for justice in deaths throughout the country. He said that on Wednesday, he and other religious leaders plan to gather outside police headquarters to demand the officer who was fired after fatally shooting Jones and LeGrier also face criminal charges.

“There is a lot of feelings of incomplete justice all over the country,” he said.

Allisa Findley, whose brother, Botham Jean, was killed in 2018 inside his apartment by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment for her own told WFAA television in Dallas, "It is like pouring salt into an open wound every time there is another case.”

“Yes, it’s a different name, but it’s the same situation,” Findley said