Local Group Seeks Transparency Following Osaze Osagie’s Death

Story posted April 21, 2019 in News, CommRadio by Rachel Darata

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Members of a local group called “Showing Up for Racial Justice” are calling for more transparency after the death of State College resident Osaze Osagie.

Osagie, who was diagnosed with autism, was shot and killed in March by State College police after he reportedly refused commands to drop a knife. Police were initially called to serve a mental health warrant. The SURJ group organized to respond to the case and held its second meeting Thursday night to discuss the case.

The group divided into different task force teams to tackle issues including healing in the community, education on race, and remembering Osagie

Melanie Morrison, a member of the accountability task force, said that action must be taken after Osagie’s death.

“When something like this happens, it seems very important to push for transparency, and to push for accountability and also for validation, for people to realize and acknowledge that there is a deep-seeded problem, and that we need to fix it,” she said.

The task force groups have started to work on making Osagie’s death known through the use of the media. They have also met with local leaders to talk about mental health and the state’s need to hold law enforcement accountable.

Mary-Lee Kerr, one of the members of the leadership team, it takes a community effort to make a difference.

“As things have unfolded recently concerning Osaze Osagie’s death, it’s just been heartbreaking to me,” Kerr said. “I feel that we  really need to step up as a community, as white people, to do something.”



Rachel Darata is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email rjd5743@psu.edu.