Thousands March In MLK Day Parade Through Downtown Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Thousands March In MLK Day Parade Through Downtown Spokane

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Along almost every corner on the parade route, from the Spokane Convention Center to the mall, were Spokane Police Officers in uniform. With what happened three years ago, the police department added extra officers to make sure everyone felt safe while they marched to carry on the message of hope and equality.

With music, signs, and chanting, thousands took to the streets of Spokane to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. "I always like listening to the 'I Have a Dream Speech,' that's one of my favorites," said parade participant Katie Mcculloh. "It's also something that people like listening to, I think it's awesome." More than 50 years have passed since that speech, but it is a message that still rings true, as the issues we dealt with back then are still ones we struggle with today. "I think racism is still a problem in our country, and in Spokane in particular there's a lot of what I call covert racism where people don't realize they're doing racist things," said parade participant Glen Jones.

So every year, people take a stand to remember what is really important. "I think it's an important legacy that should live on, so why not do it every year, the way he would've wanted us too," said parade participant Hope Barnes. While those who marched focused on celebrating equality, the Spokane Police Department focused on something else. "We did a sweep of the area before the parade, so we wanted to make sure everything was safe before people started to arrive," said Monique Cotton with the Spokane Police Department. Along the route, it was easy to spot uniformed officers, Air One flying in the sky, and even the bomb-sniffing dog checking for explosives.

With what almost happened three years ago, no one is taking any chances. "That is on the back of everyone's mind what happened several years ago," Cotton said. Thanks to the added security, everyone we spoke with felt safe. "It's funny to see all the police officers that are here for us," said parade participant Hannah Herzog. "We're here for love and peace and unity between the races and it's just a joy to be here," said another parade participant.

There were no security issues at Monday's parade. People we spoke with said the turnout seems to get bigger every year and this time there were close to 2,000 people who marched in the parade.
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