Springfield Participates in National Moment of Silence

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- People in Springfield participated in a nationwide moment of silence Thursday to honor what they call victims of police brutality.

Many in attendance were thinking of 18-year-old Michael Brown and his family. A Ferguson police officer shot and killed the unarmed teen over the weekend.

"Anytime someone is hurt by unjust brutality-- we are all hurt," says Local Organizer of the Event Alexia Vanquin.

"It does hit home," says Participant Deandre Branch. "And it's a very sad Incident."

As the sun set on Springfield's Park Central Square Thursday, dozens gathered to show their support for what they call victims of police brutality. Many remembered 18-year-old Michael Brown.

"Growing up in Ferguson, Michael Brown could've been me at the wrong time," says Participant Robert Colyer. "It could've been one of my best friends or family members."

Those from the Ferguson area say they're seeing their hometown torn and tattered.

"It's disgusting," says Colyer. "I'm seeing places I used to go to as a child in flames, I'm seeing police brutalize the neighborhood and community that brought me up and made me who I am. It makes my heart heavy that I can't be there-- it's sickening."

Those in attendance at the square say they came to try to make a difference.

"We mainly just want some justice and an investigation that any other homicide would get," says Branch.

"It is never okay to shoot an unarmed citizen," adds Vanquin.

Like much of the Ferguson community, these people want answers.

"Why aren't names being released? What's the severity of what happened? Were his hands up? Was he unarmed? Was there a struggle for a firearm?," asked Branch.

Participants hope the peace and thoughtful words they brought to the square Thursday night will resonate down the road to Ferguson, Missouri.

"Human life, regardless of whether or not you know them personally, if it's taken-- if it's robbed-- it should steer something in you to make a difference," says Colyer.

"I want peace for that family," says Branch. "And peace for that young man as well."

According to the National Moment of Silence's Facebook Page, other Missouri ceremonies took place in Kansas City, St. Louis and St. Joseph.

Governor Nixon announced today that the state's highway patrol officers will be taking control of security in Ferguson in an attempt to calm the violence there.

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