On May 14th Richmond Police Officer Michael Nyantaki shot unarmed and naked Marcus David-Peters. Following his death, Richmond Police Department’s press releases portrayed Marcus as a life-threatening superhuman aggressor which set the stage for local mainstream media outlets’ narrative. The volunteers who host programs on WRIR took a different approach. They wanted to know who Marcus-David Peters was? How did a man in crisis end up dead at the hand of a police officer? How do we prevent this from happening again? Black Minds Matter Project, Open Source RVA, and RVA Dirt’s Municipal Mania tackled these questions and discovered much more.
On Open Source RVA’s June 1 show, Don Harrison sat down with Princess Blanding, sister of Marcus, and Art Burton from the Kinfolk Empowerment Center. Princess painted a picture of a man, who was one of 11 children, with goals and ambitions to make a difference in people’s lives. Princess talked about how RPD responded to her brother and how they continued to respond. Art brought a big picture perspective to the discussion. He linked Marcus’s death to the deaths of unarmed black men across the United States. Listen to this interview on SoundCloud and tune into Open Source RVA every Friday at Noon.
“He had a major fire in him to not just be successful for himself but to help other people be successful.”
– Princess Blanding
RVA Dirt’s Municipal Mania focused on the voices who are demanding justice. The June 7 edition wove chants and speeches from the March for Justice with their interview of Princess and her sister, LaToya Jarrell. The two sisters vocalized their disappointment with Richmond Police Department and their family’s demands for justice. Listen to this episode on SoundCloud and tune into RVA Dirt’s Municipal Mania every Wednesday at 11 AM.
“Get it right Chief Durham. Get it right.”
– chants from the March for Justice
On June 8, Black Minds Matter Project aired reactions that co-hosts Taneasha White and Bri Atari collected from the community while at an art build preparing for the March for Justice. They spoke with Chelsea Higgs-Wise, community organizer, clinician practicing mental health, and co-host of the WRIR program Women And Politics. Chelsea explored Marcus from a mental health perspective. She touched on the inherent fear of black men and RPD crisis intervention training programs. Listen to this episode on SoundCloud. You can hear Black Minds Matter Project every second and fourth Friday at 11 AM.
Stay tuned for more coverage, perspectives and voices as WRIR volunteers continue to follow this story. Open Source RVA, Black Minds Matter, Women And Politics and RVA Dirt’s Municipal Mania are part of WRIR’s block of news and public affairs programs that air every weekday between 11 AM – 1 PM. You can find a complete schedule of programs at wrir.org/schedule.
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Jessee Perry June 13th, 2018