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Iowa City protesters respond to police actions in Missouri

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IOWA CITY — People wore armbands and walked with their hands up Thursday evening in Iowa City.

Protesters gathered to criticize the actions of police in and around Ferguson, Missouri in the past several days after an officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown over the weekend.

Witnesses say officers shot Brown while he was unarmed, with his hands up. Authorities in the city near St. Louis have said Brown reached for the officer’s gun.

They days since Brown’s death have seen police respond with armored vehicles and tear gas, tactics that have drawn national attention and criticism.

The Black Voices Project and Coalition for Racial Justice organized the Iowa City demonstration, which they said was about more than just the events in Missouri.

“This issue of police brutality, or someone being killed by the police, or experiencing police brutality can happen anywhere. I think we as a community need to come together to ask questions and ask ‘how do we make sure this doesn’t happen in Iowa City?’” said Alecia Brooks with the Black Voices Project.

Demonstrators received honks from several vehicles that drove by while they were out near the intersection of Kirkwood Avenue and Gilbert Street.

The event was part of a national moment of silence to remember Brown and others. A Facebook page listing events in cities like Denver, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and Orlando had more than 9,000 likes.

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