U of L med students hold "White Coat Die-In" on campus - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L med students hold "White Coat Die-In" on campus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Several dozen University of Louisville medical students joined a nationwide protest Wednesday.

It was a cause that had them putting on lab coats to make a statement.

The future doctors took part in what's being called "white coat die-ins" across the country.

They are protesting the recent decisions by grand juries to not indict police officers in the deaths of black men in Ferguson and New York.

So, the lesson for these University of Louisville medical school students was not inside the classroom.

"It is hard to watch the TV and get on the internet and not see things about Ferguson, Stanton Island, Eric Garner." And to see that it's just wrong," said Terri Mason, University of Louisville Medical School Student.

About 60 students participated in the nationwide protest over grand juries not indicting officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.

The protest was called "white coat die-in" and in addition to holding signs, the students put on their lab coats and stretched on the ground.

"It was to symbolize those who were killed as a result of the systemic issues prevailing within our society. It is our way of saying that we stand with you even though there have been people who have been killed that can no longer stand for themselves," said Mellad Khoshnood, University of Louisville Medical School Student.

"I think you are seeing a reawakening among a lot of people and an awaking among others," said Dr. Ricky L. Jones, U of L Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies.

Doctor Jones says the protests, big or small, are needed.

"I encourage more Americans to have these types of protests to show solidarity, on campus, off campuses, in large cities, mid-size cities and rural towns," Jones said.

But Jones does not endorse recent protests that have turned violent.

Jones said, "Just like there will be people who attend protests and they don't care anything about Mike Brown, they don't care anything about Tameer Rice, Eric Garner, they care nothing about institutional racism or oppression. They have their own personal agenda. It is disturbing to see people in such a serious moment running out of stores with merchandise and laughing."

The medical students are hoping their protest will lead to a bigger community conversation in January.

Meanwhile, a relative of Michael Brown's is expected to be in Louisville on Thursday for another rally.

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