Shouting chants for justice, dozens of San Diegans took to the streets Thursday evening in a solidarity rally for Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was killed by a cop in Ferguson, Missouri.
The small crowd, made up of several activist groups, gathered in Balboa Park as the starting point for their walk to downtown. Many held signs that echoed the plea of thousands across the country since Brown's death: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.”
Through their march, they aimed to take a stand and demand officers be held accountable.
Local protesters say there have been countless unarmed men like Brown who have been shot and killed by police.
"It hasn't happened in San Diego yet, but if we let it go on in Ferguson, it could happen in San Diego. It could happen in D.C. It could happen in these places," said Marcelis Muriel. "So we're gonna protest it now so that it doesn't happen."
Protesters marched from the park onto Broadway, escorted by San Diego Police officers in bikes.
Their ultimate destination was the Hall of Justice. There, they chanted "Power to the people," "Hands up, don't shoot" and "Who's streets? Our streets." The crowd then fell silent as the names and ages of victims were read aloud.
One activist said he was there to protest the way militarized police have handled protesters in Missouri.
"There's no reason we should be having military equipment rolling through the streets of America. Violence breeds violence,” said Chris McKay.
But this peaceful demonstration proved to be a drastic difference from the tense, at times violent, protests that have rocked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson for nearly two weeks.
Police and protesters have clashed since the unarmed Brown was fatally shot police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. What started as peaceful protests dissolved into violent lootings, arrests and more shootings.
On Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called in the National Guard when crowd control tactics and curfews failed to stop the unrest. He withdrew the guardsmen Thursday.