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'I can't breathe' | Peaceful protesters gather in Oak Ridge

"All we want to do is have a conversation," organizer Trevor King said. "If you're open to having a conversation, then you're doing your part."

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Protesters gathered at Oak Ridge High School for a peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protest on Tuesday.

For the first hour, the group made signs, held conversations and made t-shirts.

"All we want to do is have a conversation," organizer Trevor King said. "If you're open to having a conversation, then you're doing your part."

King graduated from Oak Ridge High School back in 2013. He said the idea to hold the demonstration came up on Friday and by Monday hundreds were committed to attending.

"This is everybody standing together everybody in agreeance of something that we all agree with," he said.

Around 5 p.m., protesters made their way to Oak Ridge's Peace Bell chanting "No justice. No peace." 

However, King said an important part of the day's event was the presence of the Oak Ridge Police Department, including Chief Robin Smith who we spoke to as well. 

Credit: Mike Mahathy
Aerial view of peaceful protest in Oak Ridge

"We have to continuously look for opportunities to work on what we're doing, improve what we're doing and improve our relationships with our community," Smith said.

Once they arrived at the bell, they bowed their heads for a word of prayer in remembrance of the lives lost.

At the bell, speakers shared their experiences.

Speakers wrapped up the peaceful protest in Oak Ridge by asking people if they are willing to make the sacrifice to create change. 

The crowd screamed “yes” in unison. 

King said this is what he wanted to see. 

"At the end of the day the question is what can we do to make a change," he said.