Manhattanville Students Say 'Don't Shoot' At Michael Brown Vigil

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Michael Brown Vigil Held at Manhattanville college Silent Walk Photo Credit: whiteplainsdv
Kena Outlar (front left) and Vanity Robinson (right) lead the silent walk around campus.
Kena Outlar (front left) and Vanity Robinson (right) lead the silent walk around campus. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Students formed a circle in the center of campus Wednesday as part of their Michael Brown vigil.
Students formed a circle in the center of campus Wednesday as part of their Michael Brown vigil. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Kena Outlar read a poem at the Manhattan College vigil for Michael Brown. Outlar organized the vigil with the Connie Hogarth Center.
Kena Outlar read a poem at the Manhattan College vigil for Michael Brown. Outlar organized the vigil with the Connie Hogarth Center. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Kena Outlar gets emotional during a poetry reading.
Kena Outlar gets emotional during a poetry reading. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Michael Brown Vigil Held at Manhattanville college Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Students organize signs prior to Wednesday's vigil at Manhattanville College for Ferguson, Mo. shooting victim Michael Brown.
Students organize signs prior to Wednesday's vigil at Manhattanville College for Ferguson, Mo. shooting victim Michael Brown. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Geovanna Borden (right), a Purchase College student, attends the Manhattanville College vigil for Michael Brown.
Geovanna Borden (right), a Purchase College student, attends the Manhattanville College vigil for Michael Brown. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Manhattanville students and staff participate in a vigil for Michael Brown.
Manhattanville students and staff participate in a vigil for Michael Brown. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Jimmy Jones (second from right) spoke Wednesday about his son, Malik, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Stamford in 1997.
Jimmy Jones (second from right) spoke Wednesday about his son, Malik, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Stamford in 1997. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Vanity Robinson (front) puts her hands up, like she believes Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
Vanity Robinson (front) puts her hands up, like she believes Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Students put their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
Students put their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Manhattanville students walk silently around the Manhattanville campus with their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did.
Manhattanville students walk silently around the Manhattanville campus with their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The Michael Brown vigil was organized by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action.
The Michael Brown vigil was organized by the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Angel Morales (right) hugs a friend during the vigil for Michael Brown. Morales is the secretary for the Connie Hogarth Center.
Angel Morales (right) hugs a friend during the vigil for Michael Brown. Morales is the secretary for the Connie Hogarth Center. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Manhattanville students hold their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.
Manhattanville students hold their hands up, like they believe Michael Brown did when confronted by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Vanity Robinson grew up in Chicago, before coming to Manhattanville College.
Vanity Robinson grew up in Chicago, before coming to Manhattanville College. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Vanity Robinson is the president of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, which helped organize Wednesday's vigil.
Vanity Robinson is the president of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, which helped organize Wednesday's vigil. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

PURCHASE, N.Y. – Don’t shoot.

That was the message and hashtag used by more than 40 Manhattanville College students and staff Wednesday. They held a vigil for Michael Brown, the black teenager who was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 9. The incident sparked riots, protests and looting, which, in turn, resulted in a strong police response involving military-grade weapons and equipment.

Authorities say Brown tried to take Police Officer Darren Wilson’s gun, while protesters say the unarmed teen put his hands in the air to show he was unarmed.

Dozens of Manhattanville students and staff held their hands up, like they believe Brown did, while walking silently around the campus for the vigil Wednesday. They were led by student members of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, a campus group that plans events around injustices to bring them to light.

“Our hashtag is ‘DontShoot,’ and I feel like that right there speaks volumes,” said Kena Outlar, vice president of the Connie Hogarth Center and a junior at Manhattanville. “Excessive force is just unnecessary to me and I don’t feel it should be happening at all.”

Outlar read a poem in the middle of a 40-plus person circle in the center of campus Wednesday, shedding tears along the way. Her friend and president of the Connie Hogarth Center, Vanity Robinson, also performed a spoken word piece.

“I know everyone is affected by it so we’re just trying to have a space for healing and a space for being able to express how we feel on our small campus,” she said.

Most vigil participants held signs with the #Don’tShoot and a message about race relations, including “No Justice, No Peace,” “#Black and Brown Lives Matter,” “I Am Michael Brown” and “End Police Brutality.”

Geovanna Borden, a senior at nearby Purchase College, held a sign reading, “#Don’tShoot, I Want to See the World.”

“It was a good healing process for everything that has happened,” she said, adding that Purchase will hold a similar event next week.

Outlar was happy to have people from outside of Manhattanville and said the Connie Hogarth Center plans to participate in the Purchase vigil, too.

“If we can touch other communities than we can touch the world,” Outlar said. 

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