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Belleville protesters march, stand in solidarity for Tyre Nichols

"We have people across the nation that has been killed by the police, and it really needs to stop," one protester said.

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Protesters gathered in downtown Belleville on Saturday calling for change and justice in the wake of Tyre Nichols' death.

Nichols was beaten to death by a group of Memphis police officers almost a month ago. 

Six police officers were fired for their roles in the beating and five were charged with second-degree murder. 

Drums and voices filled the streets of downtown Belleville on Saturday morning. 

The protest organizer, JD Dixon, said they were calling for justice and change, after another life was taken by police brutality.

"We are out here standing in solidarity for Tyre Nichols, but we are also out here to raise awareness for all the stolen lives that have fallen to police violence," he said.

Dixon, Director of Empire 13, which is a grassroots activist organization in St. Louis, believes the justice system isn't doing enough.

"The systemic killing of Black Americans in America by police is a human rights issue," he said.

That's why, Dixon said, he's calling for help.

"We want the United Nations to come into the United States to investigate individual cases and to handout mandates and policies in the United States, which they have done in 14 plus countries," he said.

Among the crowd holding up signs on the street was a community organizer, and a mother, Marilyn Aleem.

"There's so many names we have to keep crying out every other week," she said to the crowd.

Aleem said every life lost breaks her heart.

"How long is this going to continue to go on? We have people across the nation that has been killed by the police and it really needs to stop," she said.

It's a problem, that according to Aleem, can't be swept under the rug anymore.

"Community policing is supposed to be community policing. Protect and serve. Not kill and destroy, so it's time we end police violence," she said.

Between the signs and chants, the group said, they won't stop raising their voices.

"If we stay silent, it'll continue. If we do not speak up on this matter, if we do not speak on the issues and the systemic killings of Black Americans, then the same system is going to keep perpetuating those same killings," Dixon said.

"Unfortunately, we have to keep making noise and this happens each week over and over again and no one is talking about it," Aleem said.

5 On Your Side is working to learn more about an incident that happened at the end of the protest. 

A protester was hit by a car, that witnesses said, was trying to get through the march. 

Dixon said in a statement to 5 On Your Side after the incident, "What happened is why we are protesting and fighting for justice. He is the image of racism. He chose to inflict violence on peaceful protestors who were exercising their constitutional right. This is why we have to keep fighting for justice and equity for all marginalized people and fight for policy and legislative reform."

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