Michael Brown rallies KHOU
HOUSTON - Protesters stood outside Houston Police Headquarters for two hours Saturday afternoon, chanting and waving signs in support of Michael Brown and the Ferguson community.
"It's not enough to just sit around and hope for change or vote for change, I think we have to hit the streets just like the people of Ferguson are doing," said one protester who wanted to be identified by just her first name, Lauren.
Anger sparked again in Ferguson Friday night, as details start trickling out by pieces.
Police there released the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, along with allegations that Brown was suspected of stealing cigars in a strong-armed robbery at a convenience store, before he was shot.
But many in Ferguson, and in Houston, are calling that an effort to distract.
"Kind of like hey this guy was doing something bad, that's why he got killed. No he still was unarmed. You didn't have to shoot him down like a dog in the street," said protester Reno Evans.
There were similar arguments at a second rally Saturday in Houston's 5th Ward.
"Our young people are being killed for miniscule reasons," said one demonstrator, Kathy Blueford-Daniels.
Folks at both demonstrations called to bring the message home, asking for changes to how police in Houston approach the community.
"It's going to keep happening unless we make firm systemic changes about how profiling is used, the power of civilian oversight," said protester Benjamin Franklin.
Enzo Powers added, "It's on them to show that they want to have a dialogue."
There were Houston police out keeping watch over the demonstration. For their part, HPD leadership has pointed to their community policing strategies as a way to try to connect, and to their efforts to try to recruit a diverse police force.
There was one voice in the crowd Saturday, supporting local police.
"I think they're good," said seven-year-old Taylar Evans.
Taylar's parents hope that with a little work, that's a feeling their daughter, and many others, can keep.