On Monday, public defenders from all across the country came together to march for the Black Lives Matter movement.
What You Need To Know
- Public defenders came together to march for the Black Lives Matter movement
- They marched down Fitzhugh Street holding up signs and chanting
- They say they've seen many of the inequalities in the criminal justice system
Public defenders, along with members of the public, gathered outside the Monroe County Public Defender's Office for one common goal.
"Close to 100 offices are marching right now in solidarity with this movement in recognition of the many different issues going on right now in hopes of finding more racial justice," says Jacquelyn Grippe, assistant public defender with the Monroe County Public Defender's Office.
The group marched down Fitzhugh Street holding up signs and chanting for everyone to hear.
They marched down past the DA's office and to the Hall of Justice. The public defenders say they've seen many of the inequalities in the criminal justice system that protesters are focused on.
"We see police brutality, we see violence, we see the different inequalities that exist for people of color, for different socioeconomic backgrounds," Grippe says.
During the protest, Frank and Sharlene Simmons shared the story of how he believes their son, Silvon, was falsely identified in a crime in 2016. Their son was shot in the back three times by a Rochester police officer. The officer was cleared of all charges.
"They should investigate, not just roll up and say, 'that's the one bam, bam, bam.' They were looking for somebody else," Frank Simmons says.
Frank and Sharlene said they're not anti-police, but believe police need to be held accountable for their actions.
"We're hoping to accomplish a change of hearts in the police department, change of hearts among the people," Sharlene Simmons adds.
As the protest concluded, the crowd remained silent for eight minutes to honor the life of George Floyd.