Protesters, many of whom were Morgan State University students, marched to City Hall in Baltimore Friday (March 25) to demand justice for the death of Donnell Rochester.
The outlet reports that the protesters tried to enter Baltimore City Hall, which has been closed off to the public due to COVID-19 regulations, to speak with Mayor Brandon Scott and Police Commissioner Michael Harrison.
They want the officers who shot and killed Rochester to face criminal charges.
Kevin Cramer, one of the protesters in attendance, told FOX45 that the group was “seeking accountability from the mayor’s office.”Cramer added that Rochester was “murdered by the Baltimore Police Department.”
“He sat 20 minutes in his own blood, drowning in his own blood with his handcuffs behind his back, saying he can’t breathe,” he said.
Rochester’s mother Danielle Brown attended the protest as well. At one point, The Baltimore Sun reports Brown addressed the crowd seeking justice for her son.
“I had to bury my son on March the 12th,” she said. “That pain is like no other. It’s so deep, it’s unbearable.”
She told the publication that Rochester loved to sing and dance and had dreams of moving to Hollywood. He idolized Nicki Minaj and wanted to study fashion in college.
“That was his big dream,” she said. “My first born — he taught me everything I know about being a mother.”
Justice 4 Donnell Rochester!! pic.twitter.com/unHPe6gDg7
— amour (@flawlessvibex) March 25, 2022
Two Baltimore City police officers ended the relationship Brown had with her son when they shot and killed him on Feb. 9.
Police said officers Robert Mauri and Connor Murray pulled Rochester over around 3 p.m. in the 3200 block of Hillen Road. The cops believed the car Rochester was driving may have been connected to a robbery.
Police officials said Rochester initially stepped out of the vehicle, then got back inside the car and drove off. The officers said Rochester struck one of them as he drove off, however Chief Harrison said that claim is still being investigated. Against the department’s policy, Mauri and Murray proceeded to fire bullets at Rochester’s moving vehicle. The high school senior was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Nearly two weeks later, Baltimore City Police released the bodycam footage from the fatal traffic stop. The video shows Rochester being pulled over and eventually driving off, but it’s difficult to decipher whether Rochester hits an officer with his car.
As the Independent Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s office continues to investigate the matter, all of the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, The Baltimore Sun reports.
Rochester’s family told the outlet they recently hired an attorney and are considering a civil lawsuit against the Baltimore City Police Department.
Friends of Donnell Rochester are protesting outside City Hall after he was killed by Baltimore police last month while trying to flee officers. His family has already raised questions about how police approached him, including walking toward his moving vehicle and opening fire. pic.twitter.com/YGNpoVtKvX
— Lea Skene (@lea_skene) March 25, 2022