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LOCAL News :: Protest Activity

2/09/06 Rally Against Police Brutality

"We will not remain silent in Richmond anymore!"
Community outrage over the police killing of Billy Thigpen III grows.
2/09/06 Rally Against Police Brutality
“We will not remain silent in Richmond again!?

Forty people rallied against police brutality outside Richmond Police Headquarters today. The rally, called by Youth for Social Change, included Christie Thigpen, wife of Billy Thigpen III shot by police Sunday, January 29th.

The Richmond community was outraged by the killing of Thigpen who was a husband and father. Billy Thigpen was unarmed when shot by Officer Everett Woolums. Billy‘s wife Christie witnessed the shooting and disputes police accounts of events. Specifically she claims her husband was not in a struggle with police when he was shot.

Youth for Social Change (YFSC) called the rally to give the family and the community a voice. “We will not remain silent in Richmond again!? said Daryl Holland of YFSC. With Christie Thigpen at his right side, Holland lambasted the shooting and the response from the police and the mayor. “We will never again let police officers roam and murder our children and fathers.? Dr. Rev. Pierre Williams held a moment of silence paying tribute to Thigpen before urging the public to get involved and call Police Chief Rodney Monroe. Others in the rally spoke including community activist Art Burton.

Officer Woolums is on paid leave and the shooting is under investigation by the FBI.

This is only the most recent in a string of police shootings in the city. The police killings of Levestar Carter (shot 13 times) and Verlon Johnson (shot outside his home) were mentioned to at the rally.

More than just voicing the community’s grief, the protest called for community control of police. Daryl Holland stated, “The citizens of Richmond need to police the police.?

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