Vigil for Ferguson shooting victim held at Big Spring ParkPosted: Updated:
Since the Aug. 9 shooting of Mike Brown, protesters have been asking for "justice" in a suburb of St. Louis. Most of the rallies have been peaceful, some, have turned violent with police saying protesters are using Molotov cocktails, gunfire, and rocks. Police have responded to the violent protesting with multiple arrests, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
Witnesses described 18-year-old Brown as a victim of excessive force who was holding his hands up when a police officer shot him multiple times.
"Based on different types of media, propaganda - I don't actually know the full story," said Dajuan Johnson at the event.
"Honestly, none of us knows the truth beside the people that were there," added Beverly Legg of Huntsville.
There have been countless vigils in numerous cities held in remembrance of Mike Brown. Organizers at Wednesday's meetup at Big Spring Park in Huntsville asked attendees, with candles in hand, to wear combinations of red, white, and blue to gather at the waterfall.
There were performances and support shown by local celebrities and attendees alike. Organizers said they hope people who attended will reflect on the events in Missouri and learn from it. They said the story has become too common and they hope to address the bigger, underlying issues.
"No matter what had happened, at the end of the day there is always an alternative route," said organizer Robert Lewis. "It did not have to end the way that it did, but now that it's done, there are some things we can do to learn from it and make it better."
St. Louis native Chris Yancey said the message was simple - know your rights, but don't fight.
"There's a lot of hurt and turmoil going on, and I just wanted to give an outlet for them," Yancey said.
City officials said Huntsville tries to head off violence like the destruction and looting in Ferguson by keeping community lines of communication open.
"I think that these kinds of situations create dialogue and I think dialogue is necessary to move things forward," said Huntsville Multicultural Director Kenny Anderson.
Anderson said it is easy for residents here to say something like this won't happen here. However, he added, that's probably what the people of Ferguson thought two weeks ago.
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