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IC Rally Against Police Brutality

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- From the streets of Ferguson Missouri, to the concrete sidewalks of Iowa City, Iowa, the rallying point is the same.

"We demand justice for Michael Brown Jr. and his family," said one speaker to the crowd gathered at the Ped mall.

People here say what happened in Ferguson also speaks to a broader epidemic - namely, the issue of alleged police abuse and brutality.

"I just felt like I really needed to do something other than just post stuff on Facebook," says Kayla Wheeler who organized the rally.

Wheeler says recent developments are concerning.

"There's a lot of stuff going on around the country," she says.

The perception is that the problems exist here at home as well.

Iowa City Police say it's a cause they can get behind.

"I'm anti police abuse and anti police brutality too," says Lt. Troy Kelsay with ICPD. "I'm all for that."

Lt. Kelsay says they take allegations of abuse seriously. He says the department has become more transparent over the years.

"Everything should be looked at, everything should be scrutinized," Kelsay says.

Some aren't as convinced that department is turning things around.

"It happens here in Iowa City," one speaker told the crowd. "We have black men getting stopped all day every day!"

That’s why the rally featured strong words, strong hugs, and a stronger message.

"It's a problem, and I think people should own up to it and not try to hide it or disguise it," says Ashley Lee, who attended the rally.

People say it won't get better without action. So when the day ends, the signs come down, the megaphone goes away, and the crowds disperse, they say the work still remains.

"Stop the violence...everybody...the world," says Shardee, a teenager who attended the rally. "Let's come together as a community.
 
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