The shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson and subsequent demonstrations brought out dozens of marchers in the state capital Monday evening.
Multiple speakers told the small crowd Michael Brown's shooting death was a symptom of a larger problem involving racial profiling and discrimination. Jefferson City NAACP President Nimrod Chapel, Jr. told KRCG 13 he thought race played a major role in Brown's death.
"There are stories that are replete, not just this year, not just last year, but over the last 15, 20, 30 years, of unarmed African-American men and women being killed," he said. "So is it a matter of race? I don't see those same stories about unarmed killings of other populations within society."
After a rally and prayer at Lincoln University's Soldiers' Memorial, protesters marched through downtown Jefferson City to the south steps of the capitol building, chanting ,"Hands up, don't shoot" and "No justice, no peace."
Cassandra Gould, a pastor at Jefferson City's Quinn Chapel AME Church, said changes in the nation's race relations such as the election of a black president have lulled Americans into a false sense of security.
"We tend to just go along to get along and don't really deal with our cultural differences and those things that have actually contributed to racism," she said.
Gould, who was in Ferguson during demonstrations there on Thursday and Friday, said she wants the Ferguson police chief replaced and a special prosecutor assigned to the case.