CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Protesters lined up alongside 1st Avenue Northeast on Sunday afternoon and said they had one message for people who drove past them: What if it was your child?
Two kids just died, and two are in the hospital, and everybodys looking at it like this is normal, Chaise Hinshaw said. This isnt normal.
The protest formed in response to recent shootings in Cedar Rapids, including one early Saturday morning that killed two 18-year-olds, Matrell Johnson and Royal Abram, and sent two other 19-year-olds to the hospital.
These were four kids who didnt deserve to have what happened to them happen, said Christyonna Ray, who organized the protest and knew Johnson.
While some of the protesters were strangers, many of them were around the same age as Johnson and Abram and knew the two teens.
Hes a comedian, he said. But hes a people person. Everyone loves him. He could talk to anybody.
Put yourselves in our shoes, Hinshaw said. I just lost a really good friend of mine. I dont want to have to lose another one.
As they shared hugs and shook their heads Sunday, they said they dont want to go through this again.
I cant sit here and lose any more people, Tajiah Ray said. Ive lost five people in my life, and Im only 16 years old. I cant do it anymore. I cant.
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