Peaceful march, service sheds light on solutions to violence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Peaceful march, service sheds light on solutions to violence

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Two weeks after the fatal shooting of an unarmed man near St. Louis, protests, vigils and a conversations about police response continues both there and in eastern Iowa.

Many gathered at Redmond Park in Cedar Rapids to march and protest to stop violence.

Organizers say it's national events like the one in Ferguson that caused them to reflect on finding new solutions to end the violence, and shed some light on their own communities.

"This is not just a problem that only impacts Ferguson, Missouri," said Dedric Doolin, president of Cedar Rapids NAACP. "Hopefully we can bring the community together to realize that this is community problem and we need community solutions."

Danielle Holliday organized the protest. She says there's an undeniable injustice and violence happening, and the solution, she says starts with you.

"This neighborhood is often neglected," said Holliday. "People don't want to work with officials they're afraid of, and officials don't want to work with people they generalize. If you think there's a problem, you should do something about it."

City and church leaders along with police officers joined in.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman says hearing the problems community members are having helps him do his job, and impacts him because he lives in the same community.

However, some say leadership in Cedar Rapids is not diversified.

Gun violence wasn't the only topic they wanted to bring awareness too, organizers say employment, housing and education issues also need to be talked about.

"I'm here because I've been noticing an increasing lack of empathy in the world," said Ashley Super. "I see a lot of white fear out there, it's totally unnecessary."

The peaceful march and service ended with a candlelight vigil in solidarity for gun violence and policing injustice, but to also shed some light on problems, hoping to bring solutions.

City leaders and Cedar Rapids residents say the solution starts with building strong relationships and forming an open line of communication between them two.

"Be the change, don't wait for someone else to do it," said Holliday.


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