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Kalamazoo activists protest police violence


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- About 50 protestors gathered in Martin Luther King Jr. Park Saturday afternoon to speak in opposition to what they call the militarization of police forces and police violence in minority neighborhoods.

County Commission Candidate Stephanie Moore stressed that such violence shouldn't be tolerated in any neighborhood. 

State Senate Candidate John Hoadley says the lesson to be learned from Ferguson is that violence shouldn't lead to more acts of violence.  It should lead to talks. 

Shannon Sykes, who helped organize the event concedes Kalamazoo is more fortunate than most communities because Public Safety is making concerted efforts to improve minority relations and community policing, but she says not all local communities are. . 

The event in Kalamazoo was held simultaneously with protests in Ferguson, Missouri and around the nation following the shooting death of an unarmed black male by a police officer there.

There were more reports of clashes with police overnight in Ferguson as a number of protestors stayed out on the street after a state-imposed midnight curfew.   At least one man was shot and several were arrested.