Vegas joins nationwide protests
How a chorus of demonstrations across the country led one local mother to act.
BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
Sheila Collins has taken particular notice of mass demonstrations around the country sparked by the police killings of unarmed African-American men in Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY.
As a mother, she knows that Michael Brown and Eric Garner are emblems of many other senseless deaths of young black males at the hands of law enforcement officers. In recent weeks, after the officers in those two cases escaped prosecution, thousands have taken to the streets to voice their outrage. Collins has been proud to be among them.
“I am the mother of a son and I never want to be in that position of loss,” said Collins. “I lost my brother to gun violence, so this situation really affected me and I wanted to act upon it and let people know that we care about our sons. I wanted to display a message here in Vegas, and decided to hold a protest for thirty days in front of the downtown Federal Building, since that is where our highest level of government officials work. Every day, as they looked out their windows, they see our message that our sons matter and that we are concern about police violence against African-American males. We understand the value in community policing and we aren’t anti-police. Starting off as a small group has now grown to include other people of all ethnic groups. This really warms my heart and we also wanted to make our protest peaceful in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.”