Indy church, youth leaders urge community to remain peaceful

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis church and youth leaders gathered Friday afternoon for a prayer vigil and meeting to urge community members to remain peaceful in light of a week or violence and deaths across the nation.

Reverend Charles Harrison and Reverend Clarence Moore joined other church leaders to encourage Indianapolis to not look to violence as an answer to problems.

“We stand in solidarity, not only with the Dallas community and the police officers and their families, but we also stand in solidarity with the families in Louisiana and Minnesota," said Moore.

Leaders say the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling should not be forgotten. They say there should be positive conversations between law enforcement and communities on how to stop what they call police overreach and brutality.

“We must do something immediately to begin to stem the ties of what we believe is the over-criminalization of people of color in America," Moore said. He added, “what is precipitated black lives matter movement, is the continued disproportion and criminalization of African American youth.”

The Black Lives Matter movement is gaining attention across the country, especially in the last year. In Indianapolis, there are a few different Black Lives Matter organizations, mainly gaining support through social media.

Indy youth leaders, like Nigel Long said the phrase "Black Lives Matter," doesn't mean other lives don't matter.

“All we’re saying is that we want to put an emphasis on cases like Philando Castle, on cases like Alton Sterling, on cases like Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin. The list goes on," Long said.

Long and other youth are organizing a peaceful march Saturday night. Youth, adults, all races, and all backgrounds are invied to attend. They will be meeting at the Indianapolis Public Library downtown at 6 p.m. and walking to Monument Circle.

“We’ve had enough. We don’t want any more hash tags. We’re tired of seeing the hash tags on twitter, so this is how we can make a stand against something that we are very passionate about as a group of people collectively," said Long.

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