For Marcus-David Peters


From The Virginia Defender  - May 31, 2018

Updates & Announcements is a service of The Virginia Defender, a statewide community newspaper
founded in 2005 by the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality

June 2 March for Marcus-David Peters!

The family of Marcus-David Peters has called for a “MARCH FOR JUSTICE & REFORMATION” this Saturday, June 2, starting at 1 pm outside the VCU Siegel Center at 1200 W. Broad St. and ending at Richmond Police Department headquarters at 200 W. Grace St. A city permit has been obtained and the march will take place, rain or shine.

On May 14, Marcus-David Peters - unarmed, naked, suffering from severe mental distress and in need of help, not death -  was shot and killed by a Richmond police officer. Just 24 years old, this promising young man majored in biology and graduated with honors from Virginia Commonwealth University, a few miles from where he was fatally shot. He taught science at Essex High School and worked part-time at Richmond’s Jefferson Hotel. He had no criminal record of any kind, was highly regarded by both his students and co-workers and had never before exhibited any type of unusual or disturbed behavior.

But on May 14, when Marcus-David Peters was experiencing some kind of serious mental crisis, the only help he received was two police bullets to the abdomen.

Last Saturday, May 26, more than 500 people rallied at Second Baptist Church in Richmond’s West End in honor of Marcus. Now the family is asking us all to join them in the streets. The Defenders are urging all our members, friends and allies to support the Peters family by attending this march. This is Richmond’s time to stand up and be counted. No one else can take your place.

The march will begin with a statement by the Rev. James Henry Harris, pastor of Second Baptist Church, and conclude with a reading of the family’s demands by Marcus’ sister Princess Blanding, speaking on behalf of the family. Members of local supporting organizations will follow with brief statements.

Organizations supporting the march include Second Baptist Church, Community Unity in Action, Southerners On New Ground, Leaders of the New South, New Virginia Majority and the Virginia Defenders for Freedom Justice & Equality,