LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday spoke about the importance of a healthy relationship between law-enforcement officers and the citizens they're sworn to protect.
The rally at Jefferson Square in downtown Louisville was organized by the local group Man Up, and came just hours after
Several black men have been shot dead by police officers in cities around the country in recent months, prompting responses ranging from peaceful rallies to violent protests.
"When we run away from dialogues we're uncomfortable with, we know we're in trouble," Fischer said. "We're a work in progress. We need to keep moving forward. Police are not the only ones keeping a community safe."
Pastor Jerry Stephenson also spoke at Wednesday's rally, saying that the Al Sharptons of the world don't speak for Louisville.
"We need new leadership," he said.
Added Man Up Chairman Meshorn Daniels: "This is about trying to show compassion on both sides."
At one point, event organizers asked the police officers in attendance to place their hands over their hearts to show they respect and acknowledge the citizens of Louisville.
WAVE 3 News reporter Gordon Boyd contributed to this report.