NEWS

Eric Garner, Michael Brown march an 'epic fail,' says conservative group

12/13/2014 08:43 EST | Updated 02/12/2015 05:59 EST
As thousands of protesters in the U.S. capital and other cities march in protest of the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police, a conservative public policy group says the focus should instead be on jobs and educational opportunities in urban areas.

Civil rights organizations are holding a national march in Washington, D.C., with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner — two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers — to help bring attention to the issue of police brutality.

But Cherylyn Harley LeBon of Project 21 is calling the demonstrations an "epic fail."

"There should be a march in Washington for jobs, improved education for kids in the inner cities," LeBon told CBC News on Saturday. "For revitalization in these urban areas. They are not great areas for kids seeking jobs."

LeBon, who is black herself and co-chairs the organization, points out that "93 per cent of all deaths of black men are being committed by blacks."

While she accepts that "no one likes to see white cops killing young, black men," she feels the marchers have "misplaced priorities."

LeBon says many black children have "dismal prospects" economically and that's the bigger problem.

Better policing

Protests — some violent — have occurred around the nation since grand juries last month declined to indict the officers involved in the deaths of 18-year-old Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Garner, 43, who gasped "I can't breathe" while being arrested for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes in New York.

Politicians and others talked about the need for better police training, body cameras and changes in the grand jury process to restore faith in the legal system.

Saturday's march against police violence — sponsored in part by the National Action Network, the Urban League, the NAACP — is scheduled to go down Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.

Other groups will be conducting similar "Day of Resistance" movements all around the country, including a large march in New York City.

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