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Civil rights issues spark response by students, parents

Standing for Shaoyo: Attending a protest for the killing of Liu Shaoyo in London, junior Maddie Dunne Murphy snaps a photo of her surroundings. Liu Shaoyo was shot by police in his London home after answering the door with scissors in hand he was using for cooking.

photo courtesy of Maddie Dunne Murphy

Standing for Shaoyo: Attending a protest for the killing of Liu Shaoyo in London, junior Maddie Dunne Murphy snaps a photo of her surroundings. Liu Shaoyo was shot by police in his London home after answering the door with scissors in hand he was using for cooking.

Youjin Shon, staff reporter

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On March 28th, Liu Shaoyo, was fatally shot by the police at his home in Paris. Police claimed that they went to Shaoyo’s house due to a concerning call. However, when they saw Shaoyo holding a pair of scissors used to cook his family dinner, the police shot and killed Shaoyo, sparking outrage in Paris in the form of protest.

Junior Maddie Dunne Murphy was in Paris at the time of the protest and participated. Dunne Murphy believes civil, organized protests are an excellent tool to bring about attention and awareness on a particular issue. Dunne Murphy said that the protest she took part in Paris about the unjustifiable death of Shaoyo made a significant impact on how she views police brutality.

“He was cooking dinner and he came to the door with a pair of scissors because he was cutting his meat and the police saw that and automatically shot him and killed him for literally no reason,” Dunne Murphy said. “I think the [protest] I went to in Paris really brought me to understand that police brutality is not just an issue [in the United States], but also a big issue in Europe, and I think that really left a big impact on me.”

Jack Murphy, Dunne Murphy’s father, says he participated in Anti-Vietnam War protests in the ‘60s and ‘70s and took active part in civil rights issues regarding racism, sexism, and maltreatment against American Indians. As a social activist himself, Murphy said he was extremely delighted to witness his own daughter raise her voice about the mistreatment against the Chinese man and actively engage in current civil rights issues.  

“I was very proud that she would be motivated to speak up for injustice where she saw it,” Murphy said. “I think that’s what we tried to do back in the ‘60s and ‘70sto always speak up against injustices where they see them … I was very happy and proud of what she was doing.”

Similarly, junior Sam Weinberg has participated in many civil rights protests. However, he says that the most impactful rally he attended was one held on Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration day.

“It was a difficult day for me and a lot of people seeing and hearing Donald Trump swear into his presidency,” Weinberg said. “It definitely stuck with me because of the day, and it felt good that on the first day of the new presidency [we were] out there and already protesting.”

Sam’s father, Dr. Jonathan Weinberg, has also previously participated in many protests including one held at his former school for the unfair treatment of African American students at Kent State and Jacksonville State Universities. Sam’s passion and interests in issues regarding civil rights re-sparked Jonathan’s motivation to once again participate in civil rights protests.

“I’m always proud of [Sam] frankly,” Jonathan said. “In the primary elections last year, Sam was very interested and involved. We went to hear Bernie Sanders, and both times he spoke during the campaign … I wouldn’t have done any of that [in] this point of my life if Sam hadn’t been interested. I’m proud of him, but really his interests motivated me and someway inspired me to participate.”

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Civil rights issues spark response by students, parents