- Will Garbe Staff Writer
Around 20 activists — a few armed — lined the sidewalk outside Brock Turner’s family home Sunday in a protest that drew the attention of police and neighbors.
The protest follows international outcry sparked by Turner’s sentencing in a sexual assault case at Stanford University, which many, including the protesters, considered far too lenient.
Turner is serving three months of a six-month jail sentence in Santa Clara County (Calif.) Jail. He was convicted of penetration of an intoxicated person, intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, and penetration of an unconscious person.
» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest news on Brock Turner case
Fueling outrage of protesters were letters written to the judge pre-sentencing, in which Turner’s father characterized the incident as “20 minutes of action” and his mother stated she’s been unable to decorate her new home.
“We cannot just stand by and let this family do what they are doing, which is denying their son violated another human being,” said protester Lessa Leigh, of Cincinnati. She held a sign that read, “I was too upset to decorate a sign” — a tongue-in-cheek mockery of Carleen Turner’s own words in her son’s defense.
“We moved into our new home on Jan. 17, 2015. Then we got that fateful call from Brock on Sunday the 18th…” Carleen Turner wrote. “This house now reminds me of the horror of that moment. I have not decorated the house nor have I hung anything on the walls.”
There were no signs that anyone was inside the Turner residence for the protest, which began around 4 p.m. and lasted about an hour.
An assault rifle and pistol adorned Micah Naziri of Yellow Springs, who held a sign that read, “This Machine Kills Rapists.”
“That’s not a threat after the fact to use violence on somebody,” Naziri said, before indicating lethal force should be used to stop individuals immediately engaged in the act of sexual assault.
“They justified their son raping a woman,” Naziri said on a bullhorn. He added, “Something needed to be said, and a stand needed to be taken against these people,” further claiming the Turners didn’t teach their son “right from wrong.”
A handful of neighbors watched the protest, which drew the attention of Sugarcreek Twp. police officers. Chief Michael A. Brown met with protesters ahead of the event.
“I think you’d find a number of us, we’d be on the same side on a number of issues,” Brown told the protesters. Brown said he walked the neighborhood to inform residents ahead of the protest.
Down the street, high school student Michaela Pittmann stained a wooden mailbox outside her family home. She was taken aback that Turner lived nearby, and said she knew why protesters were there.
“As long as it’s peaceful protesting, that’s cool,” she said, adding, “I definitely understand … I honestly didn’t know they lived down the street from me, so it kind of surprised me when my dad said, yeah, that’s what’s happening.”
More signs of protest were visible at Stanford’s graduation Sunday.