'Black Lives Matter' march steps off in North Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Another protest march organized by the Black Lives Matter organization was held Friday in Philadelphia.

Marchers stepped off from Broad Street and Erie Avenue in North Philadelphia at 5 p.m. and headed down Broad Street to Philadelphia City Hall.

The intention, organizers say, is to "peaceably discuss gun violence, prevention and police brutality."

Emotions are running high locally after a peaceful protest in Dallas of shootings by officers ended in unspeakable tragedy Thursday night.

Black Lives Matter activists say as their movement continues, their message needs to be reiterated.

"No one wants civil war," march organizer Dontrerrell McDuffie told Action News. "We don't want violence. We don't want violence in our community, we have enough of that on both sides. What we want is for people to understand that there should be equality of justice.

"This is not for that - for us to kill anybody or fight anybody. It's time for us to align and get it together," added McDuffie.

The march was originally prompted by the deaths of Philandro Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. Both were killed by police.

Dr. Kelly Welch, professor of sociology and criminology at Villanova University, isn't surprised by the national outcry, and the controversy surrounding marches like the one being held Friday.

"I think the name is right," said Welch. "And of course all lives matter. But we also need to focus on, 'Black lives who are getting killed matter tremendously.' "

It's a message McDuffie says he'll keep on repeating no matter how many marches it takes.

"People are tired of seeing people being killed, and there being no consequences," he said. "People say, 'Oh well, look at Chicago, look at Detroit. Black people are killing each other. But yeah, when black people kill each other, we go to prison for that. These police officers aren't going to prison."
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