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Hundreds Fill Cincinnati Streets For Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter demonstration and march through Downtown and Over-the-Rhine ended peacefully Sunday. The protest was held after the deaths of black men and women in police custody or in contact with police.  It was organized Thursday just before five Dallas Police officers were killed at a similar rally.

Brian Taylor with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati says it is okay to mourn those deaths.

"But do not fall for the attempt for your empathy to be converted into shame, apology for our right to liberation, and never let it minimize the scope of our suffering."

While many are hopeful for change in police/community relations, they say there's still a long way to go.

The demonstration started outside Cincinnati Police Headquarters on Ezzard Charles. But the hundreds of people didn't stay there. They marched through Downtown and ended in Washington Park. That's where Catherine Elizabeth of Cincinnati was. She says while many Americans think relations between police and African-Americans have improved, they haven't.

"We live in a different reality than you. My skin, every time I walk into a room, I am stared at and looked at, maybe by two people, maybe by five, maybe by the whole room. I notice it. You might not notice it. You don't have the same perspective as me."

Another woman came specifically from Youngstown for the rally. Sabrina Donaldson says while she wants change, it hasn't happened yet.

"Until I feel comfortable being able to allow my son to go out and drive, following the law, without having to feel any sense of fear about somebody racially profiling him because he's an African-American, 19 year old male, when that fear is gone, then I can honestly say that things have changed."

Both Donaldson and Elizabeth say it will take people of all races working together to reach peace and justice.

Travis Johnson of Over-the-Rhine didn't plan on attending the demonstration. He was driving by with his wife and brother when they decided to join. He's optimistic events like this can make a difference.

"It takes time for things to actually happen. And we're just doing it peacefully. Doing it how it's supposed to be done. Doing how the people before us did it."

Hundreds of people were arrested over the weekend during demonstrations in St. Paul, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after police had shot and killed black men in both cities.

Cincinnati Police say there were no arrests or incidents during Sunday's demonstration.