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Community Bands Together for Michael Brown
WATERLOO, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Some in the Waterloo community came together Saturday afternoon to show their support for the people of Ferguson.
The demonstrators say they banded together for justice, justice for Michael Brown, justice for the citizens of Ferguson, and justice for Waterloo, a community they say has also seen its share of brutality.
Hands up, don't shoot. Those words have now become the symbol of a movement
"It gets everyone together in one accord but then it also, I think motivates people to be energized, to be a part of the movement,” Zorana Wortham-White, who organized the event, a movement to end the use of excessive force by police.
"My son yesterday came to me and said to me you know it's scary being a black male, and that concerns me,” Wortham-White.
That concern is what brought dozens, wearing red ribbons and armbands out here.
"Because we believe here locally that we have experienced those some of the same kinds of things,” said Michael Blackwell, President of the Blackhawk County NAACP.
Blackwell says this is a way to remind the nation that the fight for justice continues, everywhere.
"We figured that the parallels were so remarkable and so frightening that we should talk about it,” he said, but others say it's also time to talk about the rift in the black community.
"We're out here killing each other every day and we don't stand up for ourselves. So how can we seat there and be so upset with everybody else and we're not going to take the time to say that the person next to me is just as wrong as the police officer out there,” said demonstrator, Daijon Stokes.
Organizers argue that this helps get the conversation rolling.
"Hopefully, something like this can bring people together,” Blackwell said, and justice, they say, for Michael Brown.
"Whatever they find, I want it to end with a resolution of trying to figure out how to get citizens and police, law enforcement working together on one accord,” said Wortham-White.
We reached out to the Waterloo Police Department about resident allegations of brutality.
They tell us they have a constant dialogue with the black community including the NAACP.
They say they always follow up on any issues brought to their attention.