Memphis Joins 100 Cities In Peaceful Demonstration

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Memphians joined thousands of others from over 100 cities across the United States in a moment of silence for Michael Brown, the unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer four days ago.

The Missouri Highway Patrol seized control of the St. Louis suburb Thursday, stripping local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of clashes between officers in riot gear and furious crowds protesting the death of the 18-year-old.

MORE: Missouri Highway Patrol seizes control of Ferguson

Earlier Thursday President Barack Obama asked everyone involved to take a step back and calm down as the MHP took over crowd control.

The name of the officer who fatally shot Brown has not been released and the city's police chief said there are death threats against the officer and his family.

Thursday evening Memphis area peace activists held a rally in the medical district saying they want more accountability from police in Memphis.

"These are the names of the people who have been victims of police brutality for the past 15 years," said John Torrey, who said the death of Brown and the violence that has followed is personal because Ferguson is practically home to this native of St. Louis.

"I felt a little powerless," Torrey. "I look online to social media and found a way to do something and let them know we support them and we are right there with them."

They rallied peacefully, calling out the names of people shot and killed by police across the country and in Memphis.

"We know people have been frustrated," said Paul Garner of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. "We know people have been victims of violence. We want that response to be measured, thoughtful, peaceful and looking for solutions."

No one wants tempers and emotions to fuel violence like it has in Ferguson. Despite the tense situation Angelic and Antonio Cathey will travel there to show support for the demonstrators.

"At any given time I could walk outside, going to the store, put my hands up and they gun me down, that's how i feel," said Angelic Cathey.
 
"That the justice system needs to wake up and realize what is going on in America," added Antonio Cathey. That people cannot keep getting pushed over, cannot continue to go through this in America."

More demonstrations are being organized over the next few days in Memphis, including an event is planned Monday evening, Aug. 18. Monday's demonstration will have people with a sign at every intersection from Poplar Avenue and Highland in East Memphis all the way down to the criminal justice center downtown at 201 Poplar.

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