Hopkins medical students participate in 'die in'

Medical students became the latest group to protest against police brutality on Wednesday.

About 150 medical students participated in a "die in" demonstration outside Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on Wednesday to protest police brutality in Baltimore and across the nation.

About 150 medical students participated in a "die in" demonstration outside Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on Wednesday to protest police brutality in Baltimore and across the nation.

Wearing white lab coats, the students lined up outside the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building in the 1600 block of McElderry St. in East Baltimore at noon and shouted "If I can't breathe, you can't breathe." Following a short speech by an event organizer, the students laid out on the sidewalk surrounding the medical school for four-and-a-half silent minutes, representing in minutes the hours it took for St. Louis area medical examiners to retrieve the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown from a street in Ferguson, Mo., after he was fatally shot by police in August.

"This is a health problem," said event organizer and doctor Manisha Sharma, saying police need to be held more accountable for unnecessary killings and excessive uses of force in the same way doctors are held accountable for malpractice.

Tania Haag, a Hopkins medical student and demonstration organizer, said students are becoming more and more aware of the inequity that exists within the medical and justice system in how the poor are treated, and she said Wednesday's demonstration was meant to highlight that gap.

"You have to be aware that different access to care exists," she said.

The "die in" was held in concert with medical schools across the United States, which held similar protests. Wednesday was also International Human Rights Day.

jgeorge@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/justingeorge

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