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Peaceful March & Vigil In Westchester

Photographs by Cynthia Turnquest-Jones

White Plains — Hundreds of Westchester residents, community leaders and local clergy members attended a march for justice Thursday night in White Plains.

Organizers said that the goal of the march was to unite people across Westchester, and call for justice following last week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five officers in Dallas.

The march began at Calvary Baptist Church, located 188 Orawaupum Street, and was organized by Rev. Erwin Trollinger. Marchers walked down South Lexington and held a vigil for Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., who was shot and killed by law enforcement in 2011. Participants also held a vigil outside White Plains Police Headquarters. To date no officers involved have been brought to justice.

13664791_644949275661428_176449109_nPeople Before Politics Co-Host and Founder of Tha B.U.M.P. “Brown Urban Mother Partnership”, Cynthia Turnquest-Jones was in attendance as she usually as is the case with many other rallies for justice in New York. Cynthia shares her experience at the rally for BW;

“United as one Westchester neighbors marched in a roar for Justice. The call was made to father at Calvary Baptist Church at 6:00 P.M.

By 6:15 P.M. there were at least 200 people in the parking lot. Everyone present agreed that this is wrong. The clergy lead in prayer as the people of Westchester County walked in power.

We stopped at various points in White Plains with pastors, Senator Stewart Cousins, members of Raynette Turners’ family, NAACP of White Plains, members from Delta Sigma Theta of the Westchester Alumnae chapter and Westchester Coalition For Police Reform Co-Founder, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., each spoke. Reminding everyone that he is not against the police. He is against police & civilians who conduct themselves in an unlawful manner.

The crowd disbursed with chatters of what Carmelo Anthony said, “We cannot ignore reality of the current state of America.”

Nationwide peaceful protest and rallies are being held in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling of Louisiana and Minnesota’s Philando Castile being killed by cops during arrests. but let us never allow the national incidents take our eye of the fight for justice of local deaths of black men at the hand of law enforcement like Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

Since the killing of my father Kenneth Chamberlain Jr’s dad, law enforcement has consistently tried to imply that his father posed an imminent threat to life and well-being and that after exhausting all non-lethal means they had no other choice but to use deadly physical force. So while the media focuses of the national deaths we must keep the fight going for justice for Chamberlain.

“It was great seeing such a diverse group of people who came out to demand change,” Westchester Coalition for Police Reform Co-Founder Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., tell BW, after the rally. “Whether you are for or against marching we stood together as one united front. I spoke about some of the things we can do to help affect positive change in our communities and it is my hope that what I said was well received and the people will take action.”

With all the violence around the country it is great for the world to see we can have a peaceful protest here in Westchester. One that wont get coverage by the major news outlets. BW Salutes all those who came out to represent and stand up for the fight for justice in White Plains, Thursday night. Let’s not allow the momentum die as the news cycle moves on to the next big story.

“Today’s March was monumental to me and a step in the right direction for the community I Love, but I challenge all of these Social Media Protesters to come into the streets,” White Plains native, Mr. 914, Chris Lat, owner of African-American College Alliance Clothing tells BW. “The Elders were there in full effect, but my peers need to do better and get active on all fronts not just on a feed!!! #914Strong” 

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About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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