WJTV News Channel 12 - Michael Brown rally held in downtown Tampa

Michael Brown rally held in downtown Tampa

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The tensions over the events of Ferguson, Mo, could be felt right here in the Tampa Bay area.

Protests were held throughout the region on Saturday, including in downtown Tampa.

Ferguson is more than a thousand miles away, but it has served as a rallying cry that has both united and divided people across this country.

Under rainy skies, the Dream Defenders held a Michael Brown rally at Lyke's Gaslight Square Park in downtown Tampa.

They protested the death of Missouri teenager Michael Brown.

"The people united will never be defeated," the protesters screamed.

Sara Bojd with the Tampa Dream Defenders said, "If we can't rely on the police to protect us then we can only rely on each other."

Pastor Russell Meyer said, "Our criminal justice system is badly broken and we're arresting far more people than we should. We're militarizing our police."

But their message could not be contained at Gaslight Park.

Together they marched right into Tampa police headquarters.

"There's so much injustice that goes on around the world," Alejandro, a protester, said,.Ferguson is not the only one, its everywhere. It happens here in Tampa. Now is the time for everybody to rise up and actually do something about it."

Organizers say this rally is raising awareness for not only about Michael Brown, but also Trayvon Martin and Tampa teen Javon Neal. Back in 2012, the 16-year-old was killed by two Tampa police officers.

Michael Brown was just the latest and these people are tired of it.

"This is just the first step, gathering together is just the first step. There's more to come, its not gonna stop. The killing ain't gonna stop so why should we,” said Alejandro.

The Tampa Dream Defenders also have a list of demands that's close to home.

They want Tampa police officers to wear forward facing cameras and they've filed public records requests to see if officers are using racial profiling.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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