Why Toshira Garraway Went to D.C.

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A Minnesota activist is among those waiting for a response from the U.S. Department of Justice to their demand for an investigation into racist police practices. Tiffany Bui reports.

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Why Toshira Garraway Went to D.C.

A Minnesota activist is among those waiting for a response from the U.S. Department of Justice to their demand for an investigation into racist police practices. Tiffany Bui reports.

Saturday was the 66th anniversary of Emmett Till’s death. Toshira Garraway flew from Minnesota to Washington D.C. to protest outside the Department of Justice building. She was joined by hundreds of other families who have been impacted by police violence.

They demanded the D.O.J investigate the kidnapping and killing of Till at the hands of white men, as well as reopen cases where a person died at the hands of police.

Garraway is the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, and the fiancéeof Justin Teigen, whose body was found in a recycling bin in 2009 after he was stopped by St. Paul police.

She said the event was a way to demand attention from the agency that stands above all other law enforcement in the country.

“We're asking the D.O.J to open up these cases and investigate and hold these people accountable for the hurt, the pain, and the murders of Black and Indigenous and minority people in our communities,” she said. “No matter what state we're in, we're fighting in solidarity.

Garraway said there were over 200 people who spoke at the protest about losing a loved one due to a police encounter. This isn’t something that they often get to do on a big platform, Garraway said, as their voices are often silenced by officials and sometimes even by social justice activists.

“[This] was led by the people that are living without their loved ones,” she said. “And we got a chance to have the floor, we got a chance to talk about our loved ones without listening to anybody else’s political agenda.”

According to an analysis by the Star Tribune, 210 people have died after a confrontation with police since 2000.

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