Hundreds of Vigils Are Planned Across America to Honor Victims of Police Brutality

Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road with the use of tear gas and smoke bombs on Aug. 13, 2014. Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. (Photo: Robert Cohen AP)
Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road with the use of tear gas and smoke bombs on Aug. 13, 2014. Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with some people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
(Photo: Robert Cohen AP)

Today at 7 p.m. ET, from Hawaii to New York, hundreds of groups will take to their communities in the U.S. in peaceful protest of what they describe as police brutality.

It all began with the Twitter hashtag #NMOS14, which calls for a national moment of silence.

“It’s not just Ferguson. Police brutality is pervasive. It’s happening in so many cities,” New York-based social worker and community activist known online as Feminista Jones told the USA Today Network.

After an activist posted on Twitter that there would be a vigil in downtown Manhattan for Mike Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed man who was shot to death by police in Ferguson, Mo., which has incited days of protests, Feminista Jones reached out.

“I wonder why they always have vigils so far removed from the people who are most likely to be affected by police brutality,” she wrote back to the poster. “I just know that people in the Bronx and Brooklyn will struggle getting there on Sunday trains.” (The correspondence is documented in a Storify.)

Plans for the peaceful assemblies began through that platform, then moved to Facebook. It’s an update to activism Jones compares to “phone banking and letter writing — just reaching 90,000 people.”

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Source: USA Today | Lindsay Deutsch