‘We don't want to just scream about it:’ Mount Vernon peacefully calls for change

The plaza in front of Mount Vernon city hall was jam packed with hundreds of people gathering to not only voice their opinions but also talk about solutions to the problems now seen across the country.

News 12 Staff

Jun 2, 2020, 9:56 PM

Updated 1,450 days ago

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 A rally held in Mount Vernon has people in that community calling for a solution for the issues of police brutality and social injustice.
The plaza in front of Mount Vernon city hall was jam packed with hundreds of people gathering to not only voice their opinions but also talk about solutions to the problems now seen across the country. 
 
The ‘We Can't Breathe’ rally was organized by Mount Vernon City Youth, city government and the police department. Mount Vernon Mayor Shawn Patterson-Howard, wearing a T-shirt that said "We can't breathe,"  said it was the title of the rally because that is the overarching sentiment of the community, not just in Mount Vernon, but across the country.
The event lasted for several hours where people held signs, chanted, and prayed.
Many spoke about what they feel needs to be fixed in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a now former Minneapolis police officer. "We don't want to just scream about it, we want to talk about solutions, we want to make sure that there is proper training, proper screening, proper disciplinary procedures that are put in place, and we want to make sure that we are able to restore trust, hope accountability and faith in local law enforcement," says Patterson-Howard.
The mayor said she wants a safe community, and wants people to feel safe.
"People are in a lot of pain, and people have lost hope and today we want to give an opportunity for people to express their pain, but in a way that is productive and that's going to help move our community forward, and that's going to build bridges and that's going to restore hope," she says
She was out telling people to register to vote and fill out the census.
 "You can protest, but if you don't make a change and if you don't become civically engaged, then it's all for nothing, and nothing will ever change," she said. "The best way that we can participate and reformation is through voting and community engagement."
Unlike the violent riots that have been taking place across the country, this rally, while loud, was peaceful.
Many who took part say they really want to come up with ways to create a better world. "Anything helps us in this movement but being ignorant and not educating yourself and it's only going to do yourself a disservice and the rest of this country a disservice," says Soyini Nibbs, of Mount Vernon.
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