Hundreds rally in LOVE Park to protest Missouri police shooting

Lerato Mokobe (from left) , Shakille Cordice, and Nayo Jones join hundreds in LOVE Park Thursday, August 14, 2014 at a rally and moment of silence in response to the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Lerato Mokobe (from left) , Shakille Cordice, and Nayo Jones join hundreds in LOVE Park Thursday, August 14, 2014 at a rally and moment of silence in response to the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff)
Posted: August 16, 2014

Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night at LOVE Park for a moment of silence in response to the turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., that followed the shooting death by police of an unarmed black teen.

Protests have roiled the Midwestern community since Saturday's fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18. The confrontation between police and protesters intensified Wednesday night, and the police were widely criticized for displaying an intimidating militarized presence and using overly aggressive tactics.

In contrast, Philadelphia police officers kept their distance from the peaceful assembly in Center City, which also included a march up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

"We don't want people to feel boxed in and intimidated," said Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, explaining the light police presence. About 10 officers on bicycles were ready behind a nearby 7-Eleven just in case trouble erupted.

Synthia Pullum, 24, of North Philadelphia, carried a sign that read "Mike Brown" and "We Remember You" and had a picture of Brown.

"I'm just sick and tired of hearing the same story over and over again," she said. "I don't want another rally. I don't want another walk. Change must come."

Joyce Hall, 55, went to LOVE Park with two cousins to participate in the moment of silence. She held a sign that had a photograph of her brother, three grandsons, and three nephews.

It read: "Don't shoot our men and boys."

"It seems like every other week, every week, there's another added to the list," Hall said.

She said she tells her grandchildren when they see a police officer, "put your hands up," and don't move. "If your nose itches, don't scratch it. They can kill you."

As upset as she was with the police, she also expressed anger at the looters who took advantage of the unrest in Ferguson.

"They need to all go to jail," she said.


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215

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