Ferguson, Mo., begins to see easing of tension

FERGUSON, Mo. - The families of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin appeared together for the first time Sunday, at a rally in Ferguson, Mo. It was part of a larger push in the tension-filled town for peace instead of violence.

Ferguson has become now the word of social disgust throughout our nation. At the Greater Grace Church this morning, Bishop Larry O. Jones made a call for hope and change.

"It's like how you take a boulder and turn it into pebbles one hit at a time," he said.

When Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson two weeks ago, the racial tension that simmered under the surface for years boiled over.

The majority of Ferguson's residents are African American but its police force is 93 percent white.

Ray Lewis, a former Philadelphia captain drawn here to the protests, said: "If you have a police force, you have to make sure it's representative of the community, in race, ethnicity, gender and also in sexual preference."

There are signs the police department is attempting to strengthen its community outreach. The city has announced it is expanding its recruitment of African Americans. Instead of watching protesters from afar, they marched with residents at a peace rally on Saturday. Jonathan Gaskin of the local NAACP said he sees that as a step in the right direction.

"With the people in this community you have got to treat people right," he said. "If you want respect you have to give respect and basic dignity obviously, so I think that is what's beginning to happen here."

It's an optimism Bishop Jones shares.

"We will be better," said Jones. "We will also become the antidote word that all cities could use that if it could happen in Ferguson it can happen anywhere."

On Monday, Michael Brown's funeral will be held. Three White House officials are expected to attend, and with calm returning to Ferguson, kids are expected back in the classroom Monday.

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