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Rally Held in Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) – Demonstrators gather at Redmond Park in Cedar Rapids on Sunday to speak out against gun violence and what they call injustice.
Sunday’s gathering was just the latest rally of its kind in the Corridor since a black Missouri teenage was shot and killed by a police officer in the city of Ferguson on August 9th.
Community members organized what they call a peaceful protest that included a service, candlelight vigil, and march to show their stance against gun violence.
Cedar Rapids demonstrators say they were inspired to hold the event after watching similar gatherings across the U.S., protesting 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death which has the focus of much controversy in the weeks proceeding it.
Witnesses to the shooting say Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot by officer Darren Wilson. But police say Brown was trying to take Wilson’s gun.
The concern about the relationship between police and community brought Cedar Rapids Police Chief, Wayne Jerman out to Sunday’s conversation.
"I'm hoping that this is going to help the community take a positive step towards working with the people in ending the senseless violence that has really escalated this year,” Chief Jerman said. “we need to put an end to it."
Demonstrators say they believe getting the community together, including police, helps begin the conversation towards racial equality in policing.
They say the event is about finding a voice for change to make Cedar Rapids safer for all.
"What about getting out here? Protesting? Doing something? Saying something? Speaking out something? Words have power,” organizer, Danielle Holliday said. “You'd be amazed how much power your words have. Saying something and speaking out about something is beyond powerful. People forget that doing nothing is doing something, and it's doing something wrong."
Sunday’s rally was the third of its kind in eastern Iowa since last Saturday, including ones in Waterloo and Iowa City.