OKLAHOMA CITY – Nearly 150 people arrived at the north steps of the State Capitol Thursday afternoon to protest the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
18-year-old Michael Brown has become a household name across the country after he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson six times, August 9th, according to an autopsy report.
Brown was unarmed, but his actions prior to the shooting are still being debated.
A grand jury is now hearing evidence and will soon decide if the officer will be indicted.
Officer Wilson reportedly suffered a fracture to his eye socket in a scuffle with Brown before opening fire, then shot Brown, allegedly in self-defense, because the teen was rushing toward him.
Other eyewitness accounts say Brown had his hands up in the air and was surrendering when he was shot.
The capitol rally was entitled “Hold Your Hands up, Don’t Shoot! Make your vote count.”
Charles Smith drove up from Ardmore to attend the rally.
He said racism is why Brown was fatally shot.
“I don’t know all the facts,” he said, “as far as I’m concerned, he was unarmed. Supposedly something had happened before the incident, but even if what had happened before the incident was true, it’s still no reason to be shot.”
NAACP Oklahoma President Anthony Douglas asked the crowd to put their hands up in the air and yell “don’t shoot!”
After they did that three times, he said “you still got shot.”
Other speakers urged the crowd to voice their outrage at the ballot box.
In 2013, 17 people were fatally shot by Oklahoma police officers, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Eight of them were white.
Four were black.
“I would just say none of us know what really happened in Ferguson,” John George, President of the OKC Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123, said.
He said more evidence is coming to light that shows Officer Wilson was attacked – suffering a fracture to his eye socket in a scuffle with Brown.
“If that’s accurate, then that’s more of the mind of the suspect,” George said. “You’re not going to take me into custody and I’m not going to let you do it, at all cost.”