Brock Turner’s parent’s home in Sugarcreek Twp., Ohio, was the site of a protest earlier today, WHIO-TV reported. The protest began around 4 p.m. and lasted about an hour drawing about a dozen protesters. Some held signs, while others wrote and drew on the sidewalk and streets with chalk. One of the drawings included a depiction of castration.
One sign at the protest outside of the Turner home read, “Beware sex offender,” and one protester even openly carried a firearm with a sign that read, “This machine kills rapists.” Three Sugarcreek Twp. police cruisers responded to the scene to make sure the protest didn’t get out of control.
There was no indication anyone was home in the Turner residence during the protest. Sugarcreek Twp. Chief of Police Michael A. Brown said he will ask the municipal street department to wash the street and sidewalk tomorrow.
On January 18, 2015, Turner sexually assaulted a young woman behind a dumpster outside a fraternity house at Stanford University. Two men who happened to be passing by held Turner down until police arrived. Turner was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months in Santa Clara, California County Jail.
Turner will likely only serve three months and be released on September 2 on good behavior. Turner has applied to serve his three-year probation in his home state of Ohio and will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Once news of Turner’s sentencing spread, many people expressed their shock and outrage, calling the sentence extremely lenient. The judge who sentenced Turner didn’t help matters when he gave his reasoning for the sentence, stating, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.”
Protests of Turner’s sentencing also took place today at Stanford’s graduation ceremony. Several graduating seniors at Stanford University expressed their outrage over the short jail sentence Turner received after his sexual assault conviction. Signs with messages reading “Stanford protects rapists,” “Rape is rape,” and “Brock Turner is not an exception” were held up by students who believe that Turner’s race and former status as an excellent athlete saved him from a prison sentence, which many believe he deserved. Other signs read, “To girls everywhere I am with you” and “Celebrating 125 years of rape culture.” One sign was a direct message to Turner’s victim and read, “You are a warrior.”
The Daily Mail reports students posted on social media earlier this week that they were going to carry signs in protest of Turner’s light sentencing as they walked to their graduation ceremony. The students carried their signs during Stanford’s “wacky walk,” a tradition at the university where students wear costumes and carry celebratory signs to the graduation ceremony.
UltraViolet, a women’s rights group, commissioned a plane to fly over the stadium right before Stanford’s graduation ceremonies with a banner that read, “Protect Survivors. Not Rapists. #PerskyMustGo”
The banner refers to Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced Turner. Persky cannot comment on the case at this time because Turner is appealing his conviction, according to court spokesperson Joseph Macaluso.
UltraViolet also bought a full-page ad in the Stanford Daily’s graduation issue inviting students to join in protests of Turner and informing them bicycles carrying signs for Persky’s removal would be at the protest. The bicycles are a nod to the two graduate students who were riding their bicycles when they happened upon Turner assaulting the young woman and saved her.
Ken Burns, a documentary filmmaker and father of four daughters, gave a rousing keynote speech at the graduation inspired by the Brock Turner case, urging people to take the reporting of sexual assault seriously.
“If someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted, take it effing seriously and listen to them. Maybe someday we’ll make the survivor’s eloquent statement as important as Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s letter from the Birmingham jail.”
What are your thoughts on the protests at Brock Turner’s parents’ house and the graduation at Stanford University?
[Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images]