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ORGANIZERS—From left: The organizers holding hands Bekezela Mguni, Kimberly Jiviers, Julia Johnson, Brandi Fisher, and Sarafina Davis.

ORGANIZERS—From left: The organizers holding hands Bekezela Mguni, Kimberly Jiviers, Julia Johnson, Brandi Fisher, and Sarafina Davis.

Though it began with shouts of “Black Power is the solution” and “Shut it down,” at one point the 300 or so Black Lives Matter protesters filled Liberty Avenue—and all but one were silent.

That one, Bekezela Mguni read the names of people killed by police in 2016, those like Philando Castile, shot by officers in Minnesota, and Alton Sterling, shot while handcuffed by Louisiana officers, and locally Bruce Kelley Jr., shot multiple times by Port Authority of Allegheny County police after he stabbed a police dog they had set on him as he tried to escape them.

MIXED CROWD AT RALLY—It was a very mixed crowd as many held their fists in the air for Black Power as others held signs stating that Black Lives Matter. (Photo by J. L. Martello)

MIXED CROWD AT RALLY—It was a very mixed crowd as many held their fists in the air for Black Power as others held signs stating that Black Lives Matter. (Photo by J. L. Martello)

Kelley’s aunt, Bessie King, was among those who joined the Black Lives Matter National Day of Action rally next to the Port Authority T station at the intersection of Liberty and Wood Street.

““We cannot let them just continue to kill us without doing something about it,” she said. “If they’re going to go back to the ’60s when they were sicing dogs on us, we’re going to have to go back to pushing harder because we’re evidently not pushing hard enough right now.”

Kelly’s Jan. 31 shooting is controversial because he had a history of mental health issues, and was trying to get away from police when shot 12 times by the handler of the dog he fatally stabbed, Sgt. Brian O’Malley, and officer Domenic Rivotti.

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