Atlanta (WAOK)-Atlanta was one of many cities across the United States that held peaceful protests on Thursday night. They were sparked by the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a surburb of St. Louis.

Organizer Kelene Lee thanked the almost 300 supporters who flocked to the old Decatur Courthouse for the National Day of Silence in support of Brown. He was shot last Saturday by a white police officer in Ferguson. The details of the encounter that resulted in Brown’s death remain unclear.

24 year old Erica Darnell of Decatur, Georgia said that she attended the solidarity rally in Decatur to remember Michael Brown. “It’s really unfortunate”, Darnell said,  adding “We have to stay aware, we have to stand together and make sure that we are all aware of what’s going on so that we can teach each other how to stop issues like this from happening in the future.”

Duluth, Georgia resident Tracy Cannon said that she is tired of the police brutality. When the names of victims were being read, Cannon shouted the name Kenny Walker. Walker was a resident of Columbus, Georgia, who was shot and killed by a local law enforcement officer in September 2003 . Sheriff’s officers were on the lookout for armed and dangerous drug dealers from Miami, Florida, when they pulled over the SUV with Walker and three other black men. That stop ended with white deputy David Glisson shooting Walker twice in the head. Cannon, a native of Columbus, said that she knew Walker personally. “He was a college graduate. He came from a good family.” Cannon said tearfully, “I marched in Columbus for Kenny Walker, I marched in Atlanta for Corey Ward, I’m here marching for Michael Brown. I’m sick of marching.”  Cannon said, “The police officer that killed Kenny was found not guilty. He is now a police officer in a neighboring town.”

Corey Ward was shot and killed by Atlanta police officer Ray Bunn in July 2002. Though he was indicted in 2005, a judge later granted Bunn immunity from prosecution in a murder trial. The ruling stated that Bunn fired his weapon in self-defense and was justified. Bunn claimed to have feared for his life.

Written by Maria Boynton



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