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Bridgeport Group Plans March To Heal, Inspire Change After Police Shootings

President Obama delivers a statement on the reported police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. From Warsaw, Poland, on July 7, 2016.
President Obama delivers a statement on the reported police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. From Warsaw, Poland, on July 7, 2016. Video Credit: The White House

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Bridgeport organization is planning to hold a march Sunday to inspire positive change and to help the community heal after the deaths of two black men who were shot by police officers in separate incidents in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Alton Sterling was fatally shot in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, and Philando Castile was killed in St. Paul on Wednesday. Both were shot multiple times.

Talking Points Memo reports that both men were armed but neither was showing a weapon, according to witnesses . Both shootings were captured on cellphone videos .

At the end of a march Thursday evening in Dallas to protest the deaths, snipers opened fire. A total of 12 police officers were hit, and five have died. Two civilian bystanders were also injured.

After the shootings, Kate Rivera of CTCORE-Organize Now said she wanted to create an event to help the community to heal.

“I really just want to create a respectful space to honor the grief and the pain and the anger that everyone is feeling,” Rivera said.

The event, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., will include a healing circle, speakers and drummers. Attendees will march from Mount Aery Baptist Church at 73 Frank St. to the Bridgeport police station, organizers said.

Rivera hopes the event will inspire others to create positive action. “I want people to feel empowered to create lasting change,” she said.

The deaths have sparked an outcry across the country. Many celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their outrage over the incidents and others that have inspired the Black Lives Matters movement.

"How many more times must this happen for us to matter? How many more must we lose? BLACK. LIVES. MATTER. #AltonSterling," Zendaya tweeted.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama issued a statement on the shootings :

"All Americans should be deeply troubled by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. We’ve seen such tragedies far too many times, and our hearts go out to the families and communities who’ve suffered such a painful loss.”
"Although I am constrained in commenting on the particular facts of these cases, I am encouraged that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation in Baton Rouge, and I have full confidence in their professionalism and their ability to conduct a thoughtful, thorough, and fair inquiry."

For more information on the CTCORE-Organize Now event, visit its Facebook page here .

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