The violence erupting in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the grand jury’s decision is exactly the kind of scene peaceful protestors in Palm Desert hoped wouldn’t unfold.
“Reacting with hate and reacting with violence, what would that solve?” said Marisa Trevino, who attended a small Palm Desert rally ahead of the grand jury’s decision.
Instead, the protestors called for people to take to social media and spark a conversation across the nation about race, and police interaction with all minorities.
“If we allow men and women who are trained police officers to shoot first and ask questions later as a general rule, that’s a dangerous precedent,” said pastor Carl McPeters who attended Monday’s rally.
In downtown Palm Springs, calm reactions after the news was released officer Darren Wilson would not be charged for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“It seems like the jurors had the information to make the proper decision,” said Ed Rhoads of Yucaipa.
“The officers are putting their life on the line and they have to make split second decisions, and I think they’re too quick to call them racist,” said Rick Ranalli of South Carolina.
Instead, many say their thoughts are now with Michael Brown’s family, who urged protestors to react peacefully to the decision.
“I feel sorry for them because I can only imagine, I have children of my own,” Rhoads said.