Thursday, Jan. 15 is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and protesters with D.C. Ferguson marked the day by protesting and causing delays in D.C. for the morning rush hour.
About two dozen protesters met at about 7 a.m. at Mt. Vernon Square Park to "shut down downtown.” The protesters marched more than a mile -- from the Mt. Vernon Square area to Pennsylvania Avenue near the Capitol.
There was minimal traffic impact for downtown commuters as police shut down traffic block-by-block as protesters moved through.
Protesters starting marching at about 7:45 a.m and ended at about 8:30 a.m.
D.C. Ferguson is just one of the many groups around the country protesting the recent grand jury decision not to indict white police officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, over the deaths of unarmed black men.
“Today we are rallying here to draw attention to practices of the DCMPD and particularly jump outs,” says Heather Beno, a volunteer with the ANSWER Coalition.
She says "jump outs" are a practice used by MPD where teams of non uniformed officers approach someone and “jump out” military style and stop and frisk him, she says.
"We think racial profiling in D.C. is as much of an issue here as it is anywhere and we want to show the world that we are paying attention to it and want it to end," Beno says.
Many of the protests anger D.C. residents and area commuters, but Heather Beno -- a volunteer with the ANSWER Coalition -- says the message needs to be heard and she hopes the protests influence others to join the cause.
"The point is that the grand majority of people in D.C. want [jump outs] to end," Beno says.
When protesters block traffic: D.C. police protocol
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