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NAACP “Journey for Justice” march runs into more counter-protesters

Thursday, NAACP “Journey for Justice” marchers picked up their trek at the Gasconade River about 40 miles east of Jefferson City.

They marched through Linn in Osage County in the late morning and ran into residents who took issue with their message.

NAACP organizers say there was not near as much backlash in Linn as there was Wednesday. But, there were still some people with signs who disagreed with the marchers.

The group has been marching about 25 miles a day over about nine hours. Organizers say they have met many counter-protesters as well as supporters along the way.

Cornell William Brooks, the NAACP President and CEO says they are marching for two main reasons.

Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO: “To address racial profiling and police misconduct, which is a problem not only in Ferguson but across the country. So we’re seeking two things: first justice for Michael Brown’s family and secondly systemic fundamental reform of policing in this country. And so we’re marching one hundred and thirty-some odd miles over the course of seven days.”

Mary Ratliff, the NAACP Missouri State Conference President, says a few people from the group woke up extra early Thursday morning and sprinted ahead to make up time for the rest of the group. She says they intend to have someone walking every step of the way.

Mary Ratliff, NAACP Missouri State Conference President: “We did stop there in Linn and there were a few hecklers there across the street, but it was nothing like yesterday. And so we’re just marching on and we and we’re very pleased with the diversity of our group here. They’re young, old, black, white, etc. So everybody is feeling the change that needs to come.”

Sheriff Michael Dixon with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office says so far, the march has gone smoothly and there have been no major problems Thursday.

Local law enforcement is making sure to accompany the group for the journey including several deputies from the Osage County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers and officers from the Linn Police Department.

Sheriff Michael Dixon, Osage County Sheriff’s Office: “The Sheriff’s Office will continue to travel and escort them to the county line to ensure safe passage and ensure that we don’t have any traffic incidents on Highway 50.”

Brooks says they plan to finish the march Friday around 1:00 p.m. with a rally in Jefferson City at the Lewis and Clark Monument Trailhead Plaza near the capitol.

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