BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In the hours that followed the death of a Baton Rouge man at the hands of police on July 5, emotions and anger swelled. A couple of Baton Rouge students were also feeling all of that, but in their frustration came an idea of action.
Raheejah Flowers and Jeanette Jackson, both 15 and juniors at Baton Rouge Magnet High, felt anger and sadness and frustration in the aftermath of Alton Sterling's death.
They said they had seen police brutality and imbalance toward blacks play out before in other American cities and now it was happening in their own backyards, their own city. In addition to their intense pain though, they say, was motivation, the need to do something.
It was in that moment, they created a flyer promoting a peaceful march. That idea of action by their group, which they named The Wave, seems to have caught on.
By the next morning, the girls were getting calls from people out of state and from other schoolmates and friends, like Myra Richardson and Hezekiah Harbor. The Wave was quickly gaining momentum.
Thousands attended their rally at the State Capitol with all-youth speakers commanding the attention of the crowd that had marched from Wesley United Methodist Church.
The Wave may be motivated by wanting justice for Alton Sterling, but there is a bigger picture. Their demands and goals are things, they say, will bond a Baton Rouge community that needs it. Better training for police and better communication with the public they serve.
The group said they are inclusive and hope to expand to all schools in the Capital area, the state and beyond.