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Nearly 1,000 Gather To Improve Community Relations With Police

HILL DISTRICT (KDKA) – Protesters marched down Center Avenue Sunday afternoon to rally at the Hill's Freedom Corner.

Freedom Corner has been the site of rallies and protests over the years, but Sunday's prayer and justice march may be one of the largest in recent memory.

It was a cooperative effort of Hill District churches -- Wesley Center AME, Macedonia, Warren Methodist and Central Baptist among them.

They opened their doors and emptied their pews to take to the streets on the crisp Sunday morning.

The reason: to bring together church congregations to pray for each, to show a sign of unity and look for new ways to strengthen the community relations with local police departments.

"We march for peace, we march for hope that someday all people will be recognized as citizens," said Rev. Victor J. Grigsby of Central Baptist Church.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay stood on the sidelines, as one-by-one, leaders of the congregations took the microphone to encourage the crowd – estimated at nearly 1,000 – to stand strong, stand united and remember the past struggles of the civil rights movement.

"I love the call for unity, I love the call for people coming together, I love the call of recognizing that, you know, there's violence plaguing this community and that we all need to be involved," said McLay.

The ministers addressing the crowd said that today's event would not be the last.

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