Two Men #RunforJustice to Raise Money for Victims of Police Brutality

Two Men #RunforJustice to Raise Money for Victims of Police Brutality

Londrelle Hall and Shawn Mills ran for justice from Atlanta to Ferguson — the current center point for the fight against police injustices nationally — to create awareness and raising money for the family of Brown and other victims of police shootings and brutality.

Published December 22, 2014

On a rainy Sunday, Londrelle Hall and Shawn Mills are exhausted from running more than 500 miles from Atlanta to Ferguson. They followed Michael Brown’s final footsteps to his memorial on Canfield Drive in Missouri. Upon arrival, the two men broke down.

Hall, 25, wept. “I felt like my soul cried; like a part of me actually died and I was actually reliving someone’s last moments of their life,” he told BET.com. Mills froze in silence, thinking of his own life. “That could have been any of us, anyone of us,” Mills, 29, said.

The death of Brown on Aug. 9 has sparked protests worldwide, from boycotts on Black Friday to die-ins in Ferguson, New York City, London and other cities. Artists have written songs and painted murals. Social media users flooded timelines in outrage over the fact Darren Wilson was not arrested. 

Hall and Mills decided that a #RunforJustice to Ferguson — the current center point for the fight against police injustices nationally — would be their way of creating awareness and raising money for the family of Brown and other victims of police shootings and brutality.

Their mission was successful. A week after arriving to Ferguson, they returned to present Brown’s family with a check for $10,000. “Words Can't Express The Emotion In This Room. They Don't Know Us We Don't Know Them...But We All Know Love...Love Brought Us Together......The First Of Many Donations To The Family,” Hall wrote on his Instagram.

(Photo: londrelle via Instagram)

They are now expanding their mission, calling for other sprinters to join them for a #RunforJustice in New York City on Saturday Dec. 27. Earlier in the month, they gathered participants for #RunforJusticeLA at Runyon Canyon Park.

During their runs, the two men and participants don ‘Run for Justice’ T-shirts and sweatshirts, which they are selling to help raise money for the cause.

Running gives Hall a sense of liberation, he says, and he had always planned to do it for a purpose. This became clear during a morning run in September. “I had the vision to run because of the Michael Brown situation,” Hall explained to BET.com.

Hall, who is a videographer, asked his friend Mills, an entrepreneur, to accompany him. The two met during a media project two years ago, “We’re both positive people who are trying to do positive things,” said Mills. They trained physically, but Mills said mental and spiritual strength were at the core of their success. 

From Nov. 3 to Nov. 23, the two men ran through five states to complete the journey. Along the way, Hall said most people were receptive to their mission, while some looked at them funny or questioned why they would run.

The challenges were endless. They pushed through body soreness, unexpected rain and cold weather. The gravel paths they ran were about two or three feet from traffic. “I guess we didn’t realize how dangerous it was while we were actually running,” he said.

(Photo: Timothy J. Moore via iMarc Media Group)

In the initial days, their videographer would film them for a few hours and later pick them up at their ending point for the day. The next day he would drop them back at the same location to continue. Midway through, their videographer had to leave them for other assignments.

“That week we actually had to do double the work,” said Hall. “Most of the times we ran like 10 or 12 miles and then ran back to go get the car and then drove to that location again,” he continued.

But knowing their purpose kept them going.

“I felt compelled to do it because I’m a young African-American male. I’m older than him [Brown] but I’ve been in those harassment shoes of officers. I was fortunate to come out and still be alive but I’ve had several encounters with the law, so to speak, for wrongdoings, things I hadn’t done,” said Mills.

“So I can only imagine what transpired between him and the officers. I don’t believe anyone deserves to die over $2 of merchandise, I really don’t,” he continued. Brown allegedly stole a pack of cigarillos the day he died.

Young Black males are 21 times more likely to get shot dead by police than their white counterparts, ProPublica reports. And the cops who kill these boys are not likely to be indicted.

When Hall and Mills arrived in Ferguson on Nov. 23, they could feel the tension in the air as residents waited for news about an indictment for Wilson. History repeated itself the next day as St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCullough told the world that the grand jury had decided not to charge the officer.

(Photo: Timothy J. Moore via iMarc Media Group)

The two were at the headquarters of Hands Up United, an organization founded by Ferguson youth activists, on the day the decision was handed down. They described seeing people cry upon hearing the announcement. Some protested peacefully, while some youth broke into area businesses and set fires.

“To me it was just a cry out for help that, ‘Hey, look what’s going on here,’” said Hall. “I feel like the flames and the fire symbolize a smoke signal to the world — a cry out for help —to say somebody come save us. Somebody come do something about the situation over here,” he continued.

Moving forward, Hall hopes to organize a Million Man March. Mills is pushing forward with community work through his new Flawed Foundation in Atlanta to help youth with their self-esteem.

Whatever they accomplish, it’s clear they see making a change as a marathon not a sprint.

Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_

(Photo: Timothy J. Moore via iMarc Media Group)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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