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Rallies in York City protest police shootings

Sean Philip Cotter
505-5437/@SPCotterYD

Two rallies in response to controversial police shootings of black men in other parts of the country this week will take place in York City on Friday night.

A man raises his hands as he walks near a law enforcement officer, following the shootings Thursday of several police officers in downtown Dallas, early Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Organizers posted on Facebook that rallies will start at 6 p.m. at Penn Park and Cherry Lane, and then they'll converge in front of the York City Police Department at 50 W. King St.

Carla Christopher, a community activist who's involved in these protests, said they were created separately, but then the organizers decided to have them operate together.

Louisiana resident Alton Sterling, 37 was killed Tuesday during an altercation outside the store where he was selling CDs. Cellphone video of his shooting was posted online and set off angry protests.

The next night, Philando Castile’s girlfriend streamed video to Facebook after he was shot by a police officer Wednesday in Minnesota. Castile also was black. In the video, the woman says the man had told the officer he was carrying a gun for which he was licensed and was shot as he reached for his wallet.

The Justice Department is looking into both shootings.

The rallies in York City were organized before what had been a peaceful march and rally in Dallas turned deadly. Investigators say Micah Johnson opened fire on Dallas Police, killing five officers and wounding seven more, as well as injuring two civilians. Police say Johnson, who was killed after a standoff with police, said he was upset about recent police shootings and wanted to kill white people, particularly white officers.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.