Community gathers for prayer vigil in wake of shootings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Using prayer to find peace. Sunday night, hundreds showed up at the Kansas City Police Department's East Patrol Division to unite in prayer.

The service follows the violence in Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., Dallas, Texas, and other cities across the country.

FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush was at the vigil.

They said the message was "Together We Stand." It wasn't about arguing or debating the issues at hand, but coming together to heal.

A group of strangers prayed hand-in-hand. Even though they don't know each other, they all came for the same purpose.

Mark Thomas was one of the attendees.

"The city needs it. The country needs it. This is like a wake up, eye-opener for all races," Thomas said.

Barbara Bailey found comfort in group prayer, and said she has faith things can turn around for our country.

"There's good and bad in every race, in every occupation, but we want to stand here and have this prayer rally for God to move, because He needs to move," Bailey said. "He needs to move now."

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte was there too, even though he is currently on vacation.

He spoke about racial tension he's seen over the years and how he plans to keep his officers doing the best they can on the job.

"A lot of times when you talk about the black males being shot out there, it's an inaccurate threat perception. Somebody reaches for a phone, something like that, that's unreasonable fear for us. So we have to train better," Forte told the crowd.

Thomas thinks we can all do better when it comes to breaking down the divide in our country.

"What we want to get out of this is for our young black people to listen to the officers. Put your hands on the dash, just pay attention. And for those officers to treat those young black men like they're young kids," Thomas said.

There were 15 to 20 pastors there from churches all across the metro.