Community activists are organizing a rally for tonight in Phoenix to protest police brutality in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Police in the Missouri suburb have been clashing with protesters outraged over the killing of the 18-year-old black man. People in cities across the country are organizing vigils for Brown and victims of police brutality in what's being billed as the "National Moment of Silence 2014."
However, local black activist and congressional candidate Reverend Jarrett Maupin II tells New Times, "I don't know how silent it'll be."
He says community leaders will be there to not only show solidarity with the people of Ferguson, but to take a stance against police brutality.
Although run-ins between protesters in police in Ferguson have at times been violent, Maupin says Phoenix's gathering is a peaceful rally to draw attention to a very important issue.
"People should know, Ferguson is literally on fire, but there are many cities -- including our own -- that are figuratively on fire and waiting for the next Michael Brown to be killed for things to boil over and for violence to erupt," Maupin says.
He cited heated protests of Phoenix police after the 2010 killing of resident Daniel Rodriguez by Officer Richard Chrisman, who eventually was sentenced to seven years in prison. At one point, the Phoenix police union held a BBQ fundraiser in support of Chrisman.
"[What's happening in Ferguson] could very well happen here," Maupin says. "It's happened here before. It'll happen again until we address the relationships between law enforcement leaders and the community."
The Phoenix event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Eastlake Park, at 16th Street and Jefferson Street.
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