Mayor joins NAACP demonstrators for ‘Lap for a Life’ around Rockford City Hall

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organized a demonstration Friday, for a walk around City Hall to remember the lives of black individuals lost to police brutality.

“At times like this, I think we have to realize that we have much more in common than we think,” said Mercedes Joyner, the social media manager for the NAACP Rockford Chapter. “So many people in the world are disagreeing, but the one thing we can agree on is that life matters.”

“Everyone, whether it be your mom, your dad, your best friend, someone you know from college, you know someone who is a black individual. And we don’t realize how that effects our life until that person may not be there. So this is just a time to take advantage and say I see you, I stand with you, you’re with me and your life matters,” Joyner continued.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and more than 50 community members joined in for the march.

“When you look at the Lap for a Life, what this really is, it a somber reality of what’s going on across our country,” McNamara said. “And, I think it’s a reminder, and it needs to be a reminder for us, that we can do better and should do better.”

McNamara said he was invited to participate and said the City is ready to work with any group who wants to discuss police reforms.

“We’ve reached out to every organization that has done a protest. We want people at the table. We need people at the table, because to get action done, you need to meet and have a conversation to create that action plan,” he said.

Joyner said the NAACP is hoping to work with other local advocacy groups as they continue to fight for racial equality.

“Sometimes, these events just pop up. But, if we have that clear communication between all of these organizations, we’ll know that. And that way, we can pop up. And that’s the biggest thing, is staying together and staying united for the cause, right now,” she said.

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