LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - People from across Lubbock gathered at the Timothy Cole Memorial at 19th and University for a peaceful demonstration by Black Lives Matter on Tuesday night.
The group has been organizing on a Facebook page called Black Lives Matter for several weeks now, Standing on the Side of Love Lubbock.
The event grew from eight people to more than 100 very quickly.
Members of this group wanted the event to be peaceful, and to spread a message of unity, including 33-year-old Andre Gilmore.
Gilmore grew up in Cleveland, and moved to Lubbock in 2002.
Andre explains why the group wanted to do this.
"We are all about peace. That's the conversation pretty much. We all need to ban together," Gilmore said.
One event organizer, Laura Deurmyer says there are several reasons why she wanted to put on the event: "White and black, here in Lubbock where police relations are better than in some places or in a city like Baltimore, with huge systemic problems, we need to stand up, we need to be present."
That's something Gilmore agrees with.
"By all means we may not have had the same issues that other cities have had but, let's cut it off at the head now before it does to where we open up this conversation. We can sit down and actually have a talk about it," Gilmore said.
Gilmore talked about the significance of holding the rally at the Timothy Cole Memorial.
"This is a man that was falsely incarcerated and died there. You know he didn't receive his justice. He didn't receive his redemption," he said.
Group members say their intent is for peace, and Gilmore explained what Black Lives Matter means to them.
"The typical argument to Black Lives Matter, is all lives matter...which, me and a lot of people in this organization agree with. All lives do matter," Gilmore said. "We're not saying that only black lives matter. Black lives matter as well. Black lives matter also," he said.
"Hopefully we can remain peaceful, hopefully we can grow more peaceful, hopefully this can spread," Gilmore said.
Group organizers say the Lubbock Police Department has been supportive and kept in the loop throughout the process.
In a statement to KCBD, Lubbock Police said, "We respect everyone's first amendment rights and appreciate them working with us to keep everyone safe."
Once the event began, hundreds of protesters braved the rain to line the sidewalks and spread their message to the constant traffic.
"It's about people accepting each other for who they are," Stephani Williams said, "no matter their color, creed, religion...anything like that."
Many in attendance worked to clear misconceptions about this movement.
"Just because it says 'Black Lives Matter' don't mean black lives matter only," Andre Gimore said. "It means black lives matter also."
Anton Lewis even took his 12-year-old stepson, Jashawn Finney, to the protest so he could learn.
"He doesn't hear it enough at school, and they don't really talk about it really," Lewis said. "It's not really a social issue anyone wants to talk about."
Even though some in attendance and others driving by did not agree with the protesters, citizens like Robin Green said they were impressed by the way most Lubbock citizens responded to the event.
"That's what we're here about," Robin Green said. "Stop the hate."