Black Lives Matter holds prayer rally in Lansing City Hall

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are two African American men shot and killed by police just last week. A day later a man shot and killed five police officers in Dallas, Texas.

Since the deaths of these men, people have been gathering all across the country wanting to put a stop to the violence and today at Lansing City Hall…dozens of people came together for a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest and their message was heard loud and clear.

“We need to stand up and say enough is enough,” said Tamilikia Foster who attended the rally.

“We’re really sick and tired of black people being killed by the police without accountability,” Chapter Lead of Black Lives Matter Lansing LaShawn Erby firmly stated.

Black Lives Matter* in Lansing did not hold back opinions on what they say is police brutality at today’s rally.

It is something that has been deeply felt in our community and across the nation,” Reverend Melvin Jones of the Union Missionary Baptist Church said.

The gathering, led by Reverend Jones, made it a point to address what he says are the root causes of violence across the nation particularly pointing out law enforcement.

“It seems that to me…because the officers lost their lives, there’s more now of an outcry to make a change when we’ve been saying there’s an outcry way before it got to this point,” Foster stated.

To Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, working with the community to change their perspective on law enforcement is something Lansing officials strive to do every day.

“We need the police to be the best they can be and again that’s going to be done by, through and with the community,” Bernero said.

“We recognize that we get it right a lot of the time, but sometimes we don’t get it right,” Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski mentioned.

Yankowski stressed that engaging with the community along with community outreach is very important to the department.

“Today is really an opportunity for us to further that dialogue to say look…the violence is unacceptable for all of us,” he stated.

And according to Tamilikia Foster, their efforts shine through.

“They’ve stepped up before it became national attention, they saw that there was a deficit and they have, they are trying to fill it,” she said.

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