National Police Violence Spurs Protest in Burlington | Off Message

National Police Violence Spurs Protest in Burlington

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More than 100 people turned out on Saturday for a protest and vigil against police shootings. - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • More than 100 people turned out on Saturday for a protest and vigil against police shootings.
More than 100 people gathered Saturday night at the top of Church Street in Burlington to remember Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two African American men shot and killed by police last week.

Sterling, 37, was killed early Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge, La. Castile, 32, was fatally shot after being pulled over for a broken taillight outside of St. Paul, Minn. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, narrated the aftermath of his shooting via Facebook Live, with her 4-year-old daughter sitting in the car's back seat. 

The Champlain Area NAACP, a local chapter of the civil rights organization founded in 1909, organized the event. The Vermont chapter was established in July 2015 under the leadership of president Mary Brown-Guillory. The vigil was also a call to action. Many who turned out on a rainy evening held Black Lives Matter signs.

At a Dallas demonstration against the shootings on Thursday, an African American army veteran shot and killed five police officers. In response, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo suspended Burlington officer's solo patrols

Brown-Guillory spoke to the Burlington crowd, as did others, including Pastor Mark Demers of Burlington's First United Methodist Church. One young man recited his poem, "For Trayvon," which included a call-and-response recitation of names of African Americans killed by police.

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