Citizens of New Orleans gathered Thursday night at Lafayette Square for a moment of silence in the wake of unrest in Missouri.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter gives us a look at the concern that drew hundreds of participants.
They came together, in a show of solidarity to stand for peace.
The New Orleans vigil is in response to clashes between protestors and police, in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
“Too many times we’re hearing that people are being gunned down in the streets and you can’t think of a logical reason why,” organizer Chanelle Batiste said.
Witnesses say a police officer shot 18-year old Michael Brown multiple times in cold blood.
“What has to stop is profiling. Every black man is not a criminal,” attorney Lionel Burns said.
The outrage has sparked riots and looting in the streets.
“I don’t like the rioting. I think we just need to call people to task and really bring the criminal justice system to order in this country. But I understand people are passionate and don’t know what to do,” Sister Mary Lou Specha said.
It all hits close to home for Natasha Allen.
A veteran NOPD officer shot her unarmed son, 20-year old Wendell Allen, two years ago during a drug raid.
“All I can tell the brown family is to pray and stay strong because aint no way you can get through this without God,” Natasha Allen said.
Thursday President Obama called for peace and calm in Ferguson.
“There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests.”
Hundreds gathered in Lafayette Square. It was one of 19 similar vigils held at the same time across the country.
“It’s important because it connects us and we’re in solidarity,” Specha said.
They held up signs asking, “Whose next?” and in a moment of silence, they put their hands in the air, in an unarmed manner symbolizing the victims they want remembered.
“We’re not just standing for what happened in Ferguson. We’re standing for brutality; we’re standing for violence around the country,” K.D. Minor said.
“For black and brown youth, for Caucasian, Asian, native American. We’re doing this for everyone,” Batiste said.
Organizers hope to continue the discussion, and their quest for peace.