'Black Lives Matter' Rally, Walk Held Downtown

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-09 17:45:24-04

Crowds of people came together to pray for peace as the Black Lives Matter group in Nashville hosted a vigil full of unity and healing.

Friday evening, Jessica Sutton said she hoped to paint a different picture than what's been portrayed in the media.

"Unarmed people are murdered. Life is just not valued. There's no way to summarize that," Sutton said.

Sutton said their movement was peaceful and added there was prayer, dancing, and singing.

"We ask that people come out with like minds and like hearts to grieve as a community for the lives that were lost and the lives that are stolen," Sutton said earlier Friday before the event.

They mourned for Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, and the five officers who were killed by sniper fire at a Dallas rally.

"I think it's  important for us to all know this was a lone gunman and to not associate his actions with an entire movement," Sutton said.

The vigil began at 7 p.m. at Public Square Park where many speeches were combined with camaraderie. 

From there, the message spilled into the streets as they walked downtown along Broadway.

Police have been reminding everyone to keep an open-mind and remember officers put their lives on the line every day in order to keep us safe.

Chief of Police Steve Anderson was in tears as he talked about the shooting in Dallas.

"I would ask that we be judged and we be looked at the men and women out there on the street for what they are and what they do, their bravery, what they do every day serving the citizens of Nashville," Anderson said.

More vigils and services have been held or planned across the Mid-State this weekend.

A public service has been scheduled for Saturday in Mt. Juliet to honor the lives of officers killed in the line of duty, including Mt. Juliet Sergeant Jerry Mundy and Deputy John Musice.

That has been planned to start at 9 a.m. at police headquarters along Charlie Daniels Parkway.