About 100 people marched Monday to show their support for a 17-year-old girl who alleges that a Tacoma police officer used a stun gun on her and threw her to the ground while working security off-duty at the Tacoma Mall.
Protesters gathered at the Tacoma Police Department about 5:30 p.m., marched toward the Tacoma Mall, and ended up back at the station.
Ebony Arunga brought her 1-month-old daughter from Seattle to join in at the end.
“I think it’s important for her to experience this as well,” she said. “We all have to work for a better world for our children.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Banners in the march included: “Black Girls Matter,” and one of the chants was: “Fire Jared Williams now.”
Williams is the officer named in a lawsuit, filed by Monique Tillman earlier this month.
In the suit Tillman alleges Williams stopped her May 24, 2014, — when she was 15 — as she and her brother were riding their bikes home through the mall parking lot.
He allegedly told her she was being banned from the mall for causing a disturbance. She asked why she was being stopped, and as she tried to leave, he tossed her “around like a child’s doll, slamming her into parked vehicles, forcibly shoving his forearm into her chest, grabbing her by the hair and body-slamming her into the pavement,” and he used the stun gun when she was on the ground, according to the lawsuit.
The suit also names Simon Property Group (the Delaware company that owns and operates the mall) and Universal Protection Services, a California company hired for mall security.
As the march finished Monday, organizers from the Tacoma Action Collective, the grass-roots group that hosted the event, asked those gathered to call the Police Department and political leaders Tuesday, to request that Williams be fired.
In addition to supporting Tillman, they said the purpose of the march was to celebrate black women and girls.