- Associated Press - Saturday, July 30, 2016

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Hundreds of people marched through downtown Tupelo, Mississippi, on Saturday to demand changes in the city’s policing more than a month after a black man was fatally shot by police.

About 500 people attended a rally where demonstrators sang gospel songs, chanted and spoke out against police brutality.

A small group of counter protesters also showed up and waved American, Christian and Confederate flags, according to Leesha Faulkner, a city spokeswoman.

She was reached by telephone. She said the demonstrations were peaceful.

Another rally, this one organized by the Confederates United Patriots Society, took place Saturday afternoon.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (https://bit.ly/2aERVzQ ) that two groups faced off, with one group shouting “Black lives matter” while the other one shouted “All lives matter.”

The march through downtown Tupelo was in support of the family of Antwun “Ronnie” Shumpert, who was shot by a white police officer on June 18.

David Jones, an organizer of that march, said in a telephone interview that the demonstrators are calling for a federal civil rights investigation into long-standing accusations of police harassment and shootings of blacks in Tupelo.

“It’s been going on for quite some time and people are now just sick of it and we’re speaking out about it,” Jones said. “Nobody is policing the police. We need someone to watch them.”

He said more rallies and protests were planned to demand change.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com

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