Community supports national protests

Hundreds of people gathered near the MLK Bridge in downtown Fort Wayne to march for justice.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Hundreds of people marched through downtown Fort Wayne Sunday afternoon to show support for protests across the country.

People of all different backgrounds came together for Fort Wayne’s “Journey for Justice” Rally after the culmination of the NAACP Journey For Justice March earlier this week from Ferguson, Missouri to the governor’s mansion in the state’s capital.

People across the nation are rallying after two different grand juries ruled not to indict two police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed men in New York and Missouri. People at the Fort Wayne rally said they don’t want to see Fort Wayne become as violent as Ferguson, Missouri, so, they’re standing united now.

Around 200 people marched across the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge to the Courthouse Green. They chanted, “No Justice No Peace, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, and We Can’t Breathe” in memory of Brown, Garner, and others who’ve lost their lives in similar fashion. However, some people said the march isn’t just about those individual cases.

“When we debate the individual cases, what we end up doing is debating the facts, and then we get divided again, but what we have to remember is the thing that permeates it all is the fact that we are not in a totally just society, ” said Jack Morris, a local attorney. “We have a long ways to go.”

Most people agreed showing a united front and assembling peacefully is the beginning steps of a much needed dialogue to improve police and community relations.

“I’m seeing all of the divisions not only nationally, but also in conversations among our own community,” said Tony Young, the event organizer and member of the Local 2209 UAW Civil Rights Committee.  “There’s so much division over it, and it’s time to be united, so I thought instead of me talking about it, let’s do something.”

Organizers with Sunday’s march said there will also be a bus going to Washington, D.C. to protest on Friday. It’s a one day trip, and more information will be posted on the Journey for Justice Facebook page. Community leaders said they will also be holding a community forum at 10 a.m. on January 17 at the McMillen Center.

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