Columbia Joins Nation in Moment of Silence for Ferguson

Dozens of peaceful protesters took to the State House on Thursday evening as part of a nationwide moment of silence.

Akeiba Hartwell says she and her friends held signs for hours in support of Ferguson. The town in Missouri has been in the headlines following the police response to protests of Mike Brown's death.

"I'm hoping that everybody sticking together and doing this shows that this is not just one race or one particular area that feels this way," said Hartwell. "Everybody feels this way. If you notice that, maybe that means a change needs to be made."

Brown was fatally shot by an officer on August 9th. Conflicting accounts have caused many to question police, who then responded to protesters using force.

University of South Carolina Assistant Law Professor Seth Stoughton says many can learn from the incident and the events leading up to it.

"There are some serious systemic problems there. That's the big lesson to me from Ferguson and should be the big lesson from police departments," said Stoughton. "Not how you handle an incident, but how you prevent something from becoming an incident in the first place."

Despite Columbia being more than 700 miles away from Ferguson, many believe their support is important. Protesters say peacefully showing they disagree with the incident is a step in the right direction.

"Everyone wants the same thing, we're all on the same page out here and I think that's the best way," said Torres Perkins, who joined the protest. "Without even talking to everybody, you just know that we all want the same thing. That's really positive."

"Civil rights weren't a think that happened in one place, it happened all over the United States," added Kelley Freeman, another protester. "This is something that affects all of us."

Protesters hope positive changes will come, but say it must be a joint effort from both communities and law enforcement.


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