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'It was powerful': Police, protesters stand shoulder to shoulder in Sydney with united message
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Sydney. N.S., is the latest community to rally against racism in support of the Black community.
The protesters were vocal, but peaceful, outside police headquarters in Sydney on Wednesday night.
More than 1,000 gathered to take a stand against racism.
"When I looked out to the crowd, I saw so many different races out there," said organizer Darnell Kirton. "From Mi'kmaq, to Middle Eastern, Black to white, it warmed my heart. It was powerful."
Kirton organized the event just three days earlier.
The 29 year-old says he was racially profiled by police while on a trip to New York City.
"I got off the bus, I tried to walk into the hotel to get my keys, and had a gun pulled on me, and drawn to my knees at gunpoint by an officer because I fit a description," Kirton said. "So my life pretty much flashed in front of me because I didn't know what was going to happen next."
Members of the Cape Breton Regional Police, including Acting Chief Robert Walsh, joined the protesters.
"I want you to know that I see you, I see your grief, I see your frustration and I see your anger all over social media," Walsh said.
Walsh says he shares his voice against anti-black racism and said the officers in Minneapolis should be held accountable for their actions. His message to the crowd in Sydney on Wednesday night was that his officers are on duty to serve and protect the community.
"But I, and all of us, need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations, or things will never change," Walsh said.
Kirton says having Walsh speak and police stand side by side at the protest is a positive step forward.
"I honestly thought it was powerful," Kirton said."I think we should be involving the police more in stuff like this because as I said numerous times, we're all in this together."