CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Protesters rallied in rainy weather in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston Tuesday in response to a grand jury decision not to charge a Missouri police officer in the shooting death of a teenager.
Members of the National Action Network held the Hands Up for Justice rally outside the courthouse on Broad Street.
Led by Elder James Johnson, protesters chanted, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," the rallying cry for people who say Michael Brown raised his hands and asked officer Darren Wilson not to shoot him in the August incident.
"In America you are innocent until proven guilty, unless of course you're black, and then you are guilty and hope you live to prove that you're innocent," said Reverend Nelson Rivers III of the National Action Network.
"We're tired of our mothers crying and our brothers dying<" said Pastor Thomas Dixon.
Among the protesters was Dwayne German, the stepfather of Denzell Curnell.
Nineteen year old Curnell was shot and killed earlier this year during a struggle with a Charleston Police officer at a downtown apartment complex.
Curnell's death was ruled a suicide and the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.
"I don't want anyone standing in the position that I'm in and hopefully we don';t lose another life," German said.
The National Action Network wants the U.S. Justice Department to sue the officer who shot Brown.
"Unless the federal government steps in, then once again another black man unarmed, killed by the police, his life will mean nothing and his death will not be challenged and brought to justice," Rivers said.
The protest in Charleston is one of 31 similar demonstrations planned for cities around the country, and protesters in the Holy City received a one-hour permit for their assembly, authorities say.
Charleston Police officers and Federal Protective Services officers were on the scene to make sure order was maintained.
Protesters say they wanted to keep the protests peaceful unlike protests in Missouri following the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday night.