Almost two weeks have passed since the University Police Department shooting of UF graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong on March 2, and students plan to show their views on the incident.
On Tuesday, The Coalition for Justice Against Police Brutality, a group of students and community activists, will be leading a rally to protest the UPD shooting.
Protesters will meet at 11 a.m. on Turlington Plaza and march to the University Police Department and Emerson Alumni Hall to share their concerns with UPD and the Board of Trustees.
Justin Wooten, the rally organizer, said the protest will let students and other residents express their opinions about the charges brought against Adu-Brempong and to protest the university’s handling of the situation.
Wooten said university administrators typically do not like dealing with controversial issues because of their sensitive and difficult nature.
“The more people who come out and show their support, the more of an impact it will have on them,” Wooten said.
UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said the university appreciates student efforts to express their opinions through events such as rallies.
“Certainly, we embrace their ability to express their concerns in that way,” Sikes said.
Dave Schneider, another organizer of the rally, said the group will ask for the punishment of Keith Smith, the UPD officer who shot Adu-Brempong, and for a thorough investigation of the shooting.
Matthew Wooten, a UF alumnus who had a class with Adu-Brempong but did not know him personally, said he thinks the entire incident and UPD's response is suspicious.
Wooten said he saw enough of Adu-Brempong to understand he had physical disabilities.
He said he didn't think Adu-Brempong could stand without his cane, let alone attack five police officers.
“I think something really crazy happened, and I smell something really fishy,” he said.
Schneider said there have been instances in the past in which UPD has dealt with students in a questionable manner.
“This is unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” he said.