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Hundreds of protesters show up for prayer walk at Tampa church despite weather

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-06 18:44:24-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Rain forced several Tampa Bay area organizations to cancel their protests, but more than 400 people showed up at Crossover Church for their prayer walk.

"This wasn't a protest," said executive pastor Christopher J. Harris.

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Saturday's walk comes a week after violent protests in the University Mall area. Police say agitators showed up, not to protest, but to vandalize, loot and burn buildings down.

Pastor Tommy Kyllonen said last week's protests were heartbreaking.

"We have a passion for this neighborhood," he said. "This is our neighborhood."

Tampa police and highway patrol were on the walk. One TPD officers even got out of her patrol unit and joined the walk.

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"TPD and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has been great this week," said Kyllonen.

Pastor Harris said the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were the tipping point for African Americans. He said Saturday's walk is only the beginning of the change they want to see in America.

"I want this to send a message that people are ready for hope, solutions and ready for the community to come together," Harris said. "The bigger message is that Jesus and justice go together."