TAMPA, Fla. -- A rainy Wednesday didn't dampen the voices of young protesters demonstrating in Tampa for hours.
Demonstrators rallied in front of the police headquarters peacefully. An organizer said he wanted to encourage young people to express themselves, spread the message that black lives matter and encourage youth to get involved in the system.
"I wanted to try to get as many youth out here black males so they can express themselves because their the voices that’s not being heard even from elders we have left them behind," said John Green.
Protesters -- including teens, college students and young adults -- then gathered near Curtis Hixon Park, chanting as cars drove by.
"We want them to hear the names of the people whose lives have been taken at the wrong time, for the wrong things. I think it’s very important that the police brutality has to stop and that if we want a change, it’s gonna start with us," said one young protester.
"It’s not enough to not be racist. You have to be anti-racist," said Brandon, another protester.
"If anybody else had a fear that their son or daughter would not make it home tomorrow, you guys would be out here, the same as me. I don’t want my son growing up the same way I did, living in fear of police, being taught to fear police and how to interact with them because the fact of the matter is, our Caucasian counterparts don’t have that same need," said Justice Umbiya.
He read his written message he wanted to share with people.
"The recipe for disaster is not in the protest or the riots, it’s in the things that remain the same. It’s the hate you give," he read in part.
More young demonstrators gathered in Hyde Park, gathering at an intersection, where police controlled traffic around them. Eventually, they were joined by some of the protesters from downtown as they marched through South Tampa.
"The goal is to get the peace to get the peace we desperately want we’ve been fighting for 400 years and cops are still out here killing people," said J'Khari WIlson.
The protest ended later in the evening peacefully.