Friday, February 25, 2011

Police Brutality Rally (UF)

Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality

For More Information:

José R. Soto 520-777-9509,

Sharon M Burney 352-682-7912,

Students once again unite with community groups to demand justice for the shooting of an unarmed and disabled graduate student at UF, as several demands have yet to be met one year after the incident.

On March 2nd 2010, graduate student and teaching assistant Kofi Adu-Brempong was shot in the face with an assault rifle by officers of the University Police Department. Adu-Brempong was mentally-distressed when police were called in response to noise coming from his on-campus apartment at Corey Village.

Adu-Brempong, who is 5’5’’ and weighs less than 150 pounds, is severely disabled from a childhood case of polio. As is widely known, the shooting occurred less than a minute after the officers entered the apartment. In an interview with Adu-Brempong by the Gainesville Sun following the incident, Adu-Brempong said that UPD began firing a high-powered assault weapon at him without issuing any orders or making an arrest. "They should have told me to put up my hands,” he said. When evidence emerged that the shooter was UPD Officer Keith Smith—who had previously been implicated in throwing eggs at African-Americans while off-duty—student groups formed the Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality and organized two successful rallies to demand justice for Adu-Brempong.

One year after the incident, several of the key demands of this coalition have yet to be met. In particular, the coalition demands the permanent discharge of Officer Smith and the creation of an independent police review board, two key goals in achieving accountability and transparency within UPD. To this end, the coalition will hold a rally on March 2nd from Turlington to Tigert to once again deliver its petitions and express its unequivocal unwavering support for these unmet demands.

Who: The Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality

What: Rally demanding justice for Kofi Adu-Brempong

Where: Turlington to Tigert

When: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011, 12pm