Pine Belt resident travels to Ferguson to protest

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The shooting of an 18 year old boy in Ferguson, Missouri has made international news, raising questions of race relations as well as police accountability.  Several local individuals have made their voices be known, by use of social media, as well as even taking it upon themselves to travel to Ferguson.

Instead of raising the issue of right or wrong, Hattiesburg resident Rashad Smith says the residents of Missouri really needs love. "You have some people that are being very supportive, but there are people coming from other areas that are actually providing destruction to the community and basically destroying it… it reminds me of Marvin Gaye when he said love conquers hate…that's the main thing they need right now," said Smith

A few Mississippi residents even took it a step further and traveled to Ferguson to experience the protests and show peaceful support for justice. Attorney CJ Lawrence, key starter of the hashtag "#iftheygunnedmedown," the hashtag that trended globally, says social media plays a vital role in sharing experiences that mainstream media may have missed.

"Most of the protestors actually played a dual role in addition to actually being protestors at the time. They were standing in doorways to make sure people were not looting businesses; they were protecting people's businesses. I thought that was important to highlight. Some of the outlets reported it, some of the outlets focused on the looting,"said Lawrence.