Second Large Protest In State College Demands Local Policing Reforms

Jun 7, 2020

More than a thousand people participated in a protest in downtown State College Sunday night as protests against racism and for police reform continued nationwide over the weekend. Sunday’s protest, the second in two weeks, put its focus on local reform.

Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace!” and “Black Lives Matter!” as they gathered at the Allen Street Gate and marched through Penn State’s University Park campus and downtown. The crowd held a sit-in on Atherton Street briefly before ending the march in front of the borough municipal building. 

Local organizers, including the State College NAACP and Penn State Black Caucus, shared a list of changes they have been advocating for since the death of Osaze Osagie in 2019. Osagie was shot by State College police who were serving a mental health warrant. Investigators found his death justified, but advocates rejected the conclusion. 

“We demand implementation of a community advisory board to address discrimination, bias and racism in our local government and police,” said Penn State student Divine Lipscomb to the crowd during the protest.

Other demands included changes in police operating procedures to emphasize de-escalation, public access to police misconduct information and a ban on the use of knee holds and choke holds.

Similar protests against police brutality and racial injustice took place in Altoona, DuBois, Philipsburg and Warren in the past few days.