Clevelanders take part in Thursday's National Moment of Silence 2014
CLEVELAND -- Euclid resident 25-year-old Briana Oldham didn't know Michael Brown, but she wants to remember the teen killed in a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
"I think what hit me the most, like the hardest, was that he was supposed to start college on Monday. That really it took me to a place I didn't know if I could rebound from. Honestly. I felt like he was someone I knew," said Oldham.
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She realized she wasn't alone. On social media, the hashtag #NMOS14 was already creating a gathering of sympathetic supporters for Brown, who was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
"I can't understand for the life of me how we can trust those who are supposed to protect us when they are the ones hurting us," she said.
Now Oldham and her 12-year-old sister Sierra Eaddy are behind Cleveland's part in Thursday's National Moment of Silence 2014, or #NMOS14. They'll head to the library to join cities from all 50 states in a peaceful protest of what they describe as police brutality.
"Sometimes we have cases you just look at and just say they are horrible, horrible tragedies," said Attorney General Mike DeWine in an interview with WKYC's Sara Shookman Thursday.
The AG's office often independently investigates police use of force in Ohio, including the high-speed chase that ended with the shooting deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in November 2012.
"Don't jump to any conclusions. Wait until all the facts are out," he cautioned, "try to put yourself in the position of the person who was killed, or yourself in the position of the person who was doing the shooting."
"I think when people judge what happened, they have to keep in mind that it might take the Attorney General's office a month or maybe longer to completely reconstruct something that happened in 10 minutes, and that that officer and all the people involved had split seconds to make decisions," said DeWine.
In contrast to the 1966 Hough Riots and the 1968 Glenville Shootout of Cleveland's past, Oldham wants to see a different response to what she considers a civil rights issue of the new millennium.
"I want it to be uplifting. I want it to be us really coming together as a unified front," said Oldham. "This will really prove a lot to me, to my little sister even...one voice can become many, and we can, even through silence, be heard."
The #NMOS14 Cleveland event will be held at 7 p.m. at 325 Superior Avenue, in front of the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library.
Other supporters are hosting a rally and march kicking off from the Free Stamp at Lakeside and East 9th Street at 6:30 p.m.
Follow WKYC's Sara Shookman on Twitter: @SaraShookman