There were many emotional moments during the Black Lives Matter demonstration in downtown Cedar Rapids on Saturday, June 6, as thousands of supporters gathered to show solidarity for fellow citizens and peacefully protest against police brutality in the United States.

Protesters from all across Eastern Iowa flocked into the city, many wearing protective masks and carrying signs.

The rally began at 5:00 p.m. at Green Square Park across from the Cedar Rapids Library, featuring speakers including Linn County District 1 Supervisor Stacey Walker and Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.

Both men spoke of the need for our community to come together for change and healing following the upheaval seen nationwide in the wake of the death of George Floyd and other black American citizens.

The peaceful but vocal crowd marched through the streets of downtown in an orderly fashion, coming to the intersection that many consider the town square of Cedar Rapids.

The sight of protesters lying face down on 1st Ave at 3rd Street at the center of the city was especially poignant and powerful, bringing many participants and observers to tears. It was a show of solidarity and support that displayed the true heart of our city.

Unlike other rallies across America, Cedar Rapids kept things peaceful. This was truly a defining moment in our city's history and one that will always be remembered. It demonstrated just how much Cedar Rapids has grown as a community with supportive citizens defending and uplifting one another regardless of race.

Linn County District 1 Supervisor Stacey Walker posted an important follow up on Facebook for everyone seeking positive steps to continue the forward momentum.

This weekend's events were a very good start toward healing. Let's move forward and not lose momentum.