Activists call on President Obama to help heal racial tensions

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CHICAGO --Tonight it is clear that words and prayers are not enough to stop the tension and violence between police officers and African Americans across this country.  Activists say they need president Obama to facilitate the healing.

All across Chicago today, there were condemnations, prayers and moments of silence for the officers murdered last night in Dallas.

“As a country and as a city, we can never accept acts of violence anywhere anytime against anyone for any reason,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Across Chicago, the call for action was clear.  The call to president Obama even more so.  Jedidiah Brown, president of Chicago life, led a protest tonight outside Obama’s Kenwood home.  He called it a die-in and called on him to lead.

“Now we have it on both ends civilians and police officers. This thing is extremely deep-seated and we want Obama to move,” Brown said.

“We also have weak leadership from the president on down if they would have dealt with excessive force issue a long time ago, we wouldn’t be standing here today,” said Tio Hardiman, president of Violence Interrupters.

Activists and pastors called on the Department of Justice to punish police who use excessive force. The concern now, they say, is radical groups or individuals will start to take matters into their own hands.

“I can guarantee you if people don’t find justice then they will do what? They’re gonna find justice. And that’s what happened in Dallas,” said Pastor Gregg L. Greer, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

At DePaul university, there were no protests -- just prayer. Students moved in and out of campus prayer services, trying to make sense of all the violence.

“This country needs some faith, it needs some hope that there are better days to come,” said DePaul student Cieara Little.

Mayor Emanuel said tonight to the fire department’s top brass and their families that the answer to all the turmoil and violence was in that room where diversity and values are upheld.