POLICE SHOOTING VICTIM: Michael Brown
Birmingham is sending out a Transatlantic message of solidarity to the people of Ferguson, Missouri following the police slaying of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown.
The community is organising an hour-long vigil on Saturday (Aug 23) between 5pm and 6pm outside Birmingham Council House in the city centre's Victoria Square.
The killing of the 18-year-old high school graduate has shocked people across America and in the UK, while also bringing home the disturbing parallels between the killing of Mark Duggan in north London three years ago.
Desmond Jaddoo, founder of the Birmingham-based Empowerment Forum, who is organising the vigil, told The Voice: "We can only have equality if we unite and demand that the playing field be levelled, ensuring that we get involved and don't simply spend our time talking about these issues.
"Let's join hands and show solidarity to the people of families of the fallen both here in the UK and also Ferguson where Michael Brown was killed, in addition to Eric Garner in Staten Island.
"Here in Birmingham we also have our own victims such as Kingsley Burrell and others who are still fighting for justice.
CALLING FOR UNITY: Desmond Jaddoo, founder of the Birmingham-based Empowerment Forum, who is organising the vigil
"Let us gather and develop our plan to seek better and fairer representation in order to amplify our voices with no fear in order to create the equality that we are entitled to."
The death of the teen has sparked mass protests around America, with protesters angry at law enforcement officers who continue to shoot innocent people.
One protest in New York's Time Square on Aug 14 blocked traffic, while the group chanted 'Hands up, don't shoot' during their walk.
Missouri's governor was then forced to order the state National Guard into Ferguson after it was convulsed by yet another night of clashes between police and protesters, which followed the naming of the officer responsible for Brown's death.