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Some Michigan residents to join national march against police brutality

University of Michigan

The recent lack of indictments in the police killings of young, unarmed black men in several states has raised strong emotions in Michigan and across the nation, and one group is turning the outrage into action.

The Rev. Jamie Hawley is a chaplain for the University of Michigan Hospital and one of the organizers of a group that will head to Washington this weekend to take part in a national march against police violence.

Hawley said he's been overwhelmed by the response.

"Different faith traditions, different races, different occupations," he said. "There are students, there are rabbis, there are pastors from other churches, there are elderly people who contacted me from Detroit."

Hawley said he already has filled one bus which will leave Ann Arbor's Church of the Good Shepherd early Saturday morning and return early Sunday. He said anyone interested in joining the group can email him at jdhawley@umich.edu.

Hawley said he is compelled as a clergyman to stand with those who are marginalized in society but felt an even greater calling to attend this event, as a black man and the father of a 13-year-old boy.

"His question after the death of Mike Brown," Hawley said, "was, 'Dad, what do I do if I'm stopped by the police?' And that question just breaks my heart, over and over again."

Hawley said he finds it inspiring that people from so many walks of life are coming together in the hope of changing the national conversation.

"I think the common thread is humanity," he said, "and the ability to be able to feel the pain and the experiences of your neighbor."

Thousands of civil rights activists are expected to take part in the march, which will be led by the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin.

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