The mood of protesters turned somber on Sunday night at a candlelight vigil near Lake Merritt where about 200 people calling for more accountability from law enforcement gathered in quiet prayer.
The group gathered in response to a grand jury decision which ruled that a police officer acted in self defense when killing an African American 18-year-old on August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. SFGate reported that the ceremony included remarks by relatives and acquaintances of O’Shaine Evans and Alex Nieto who were killed by San Francisco police officers in two separate incidents.
Evans’s sister said that she was dedicating her life for the cause of justice as she recalled the moment that changed her life: “It was my mother, in her Jamaican patois, saying, ‘Cadine, Cadine, they killed our O’Shaine in San Francisco.’ For the rest of my life that will be all I remember my mom saying: ‘Our baby O’Shaine isn’t coming home,'” Cadine Williams said. “I am going to fight for him and all the stolen lives. We have to stick together. We have to fight back. We have to be heard. Get out there and make some noise.”
According to SFGate, on Saturday Mayor Ed Lee said that he respects the right to protest the Ferguson decision as long as it remains peaceful, but added that violence will not be tolerated.
“Those who co-opt meaningful demonstrations for the purpose of vandalism, looting and harming police officers disrespect the memory of Michael Brown and diminish the voices we need to hear right now,” Lee said. “This behavior will not be tolerated, and those responsible will be held accountable and prosecuted.”