The group, COBA, Coalition for Black Americans, led marchers in a peaceful protest demonstration down Portsmouth’s High Street on Monday, July 10.
On Tuesday, the group released a press statement to explain their purpose in their own words.
“In light of a disproportionate response to citizens exercising their constitutional rights, we will continue to extend ourselves to build a collaborative relationship with Portsmouth Police Department (PPD). In what could have been a much worse conclusion, we are encouraged that the rally ended peaceably and amicable with citizens and the PPD.
“Though we have grave concerns about the level of force, tactics and miscommunication regarding tonight’s events, The Coalition for Black Americans (CoBA) will continue its strong pursuit of justice and equality for all Americans with a focus on communities of color. We have been asked repeatedly why do we march, rally, and protest? The answer is quite clear for us in that even in 2017 we found ourselves having to deal with widespread injustices.
“We will continue to seek justice and equality as long as there are citizens being denied health care treatment in the Portsmouth Regional Jail, unresolved murder investigations in our police department, unjustifiable excessive and deadly force used when apprehending citizens, a threat of more than 24 million more people not having health insurance, overpopulated classrooms to ensure the school to prison pipeline is in effect, the working class is without livable and sustainable wages, and the quality of life in communities of color is questionable.
“We will continue the fight of justice and equality for all.”
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