Jeremy Kiehner, right, and another man demonstrate for police accountability in York City on Thursday.
Jeremy Kiehner, right, and another man demonstrate for police accountability in York City on Thursday. (Greg Gross)

With bandanas or masks covering most of their faces, five people stood on Continental Square in York City Thursday night holding signs calling for police accountability.

Every once in awhile, a motorist in a passing car would honk the horn. In return, the driver received in response a hardy cheer and a fist pump from one member or all of the group.

The sign-holding group was out to demonstrate their dismay at the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri earlier his month.

Though the shooting happened hundreds of miles away, Jeremy Kiehner, the de facto spokesman for the group in York City, said they were trying to raise awareness of the police-involved shooting of the 18-year-old Brown.

"Our whole goal is to bring some light to the situation (in Missouri) and to the militarization of police forces as it is now," he said.

Kiehner said similar groups were also demonstrating throughout much of the country Thursday night as part of "Day of Rage," a call to action circulating on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

Clad in a Guy Fawkes mask with an anarchy sign on its forehead, Kiehner said he had less than 24 hours to organize the local demonstration.

Ferguson: Violent protests, rioting and clashes with police broke out in the St. Louis suburb after the unarmed Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Aug. 9.

The shooting also brought to the forefront discussions of race relations and perceived police brutality in the country.


Kiehner said his aim isn't to bring violent protests to York County, but rather to hold police accountable for their actions.

"A badge doesn't give you extra rights. Cops should be held accountable," he said. "It's about accountability."

Admittedly, Kiehner has had his own run-ins with law. But, he added, the officer who arrested him for DUI was pleasant and the run-in only happened because Kiehner did something wrong.

He said he doesn't have any issues with local police.

Engaging: As the demonstrators held their signs, one of which read "Honk of accountability," two men walking along East Market Street stopped to chat with one of the demonstrators.

That was the aim of the night, Kiehner said. Engage people.

And for a few minutes, it was demonstrators who were being engaged.

A York City Police officer walking the beat stopped to talk with the group, asking them what they were doing.

"He was just curious how long we'll be out. He was really nice about it, too," Kiehner said. "You should include that."