Temple, TX (FOX 44) — Dozens protested for change in Downtown Temple Thursday evening over Tuesday’s not guilty verdict of former temple police officer, Carmen DeCruz in the death of Michael Dean.

With nearly three years leading up to this moment organizers titled the event “Traffic Stops Do Not Equal Tragic Stops.”

Many took to the podium speaking on perceived problems with the case, how it was handled, and a history of racism in Temple.

A big community request over the verdict is to release police footage from December 2, 2019.

They’re also asking for the Temple Police Department to be investigated and spoke on how to protect yourself from law enforcement.

The protest started with prayer and a candle service was held for those who died from police brutality.

Many of the protestors carried signs saying stop using excessive force, stop police brutality and shirts reading justice for Michael Dean.

Michael Dean’s brother, Jay, spoke at tonight’s protest and says the verdict shows how far back we are in society.

“It’s basically like we’re still in slavery though with rules, regulations, and procedures to cover their a** when it come down to what they call the good old judicial system, which is the good ol boy system,” said Dean.

Dean adds change needs to happen now before its too late.

“If you don’t stop it now, it’s never going to stop. It’s not going to stop at all. It’s going to keep going. I mean, it’s just going to get worse and worse and worse and worse and worse and worse to the point to where there’s going to be a race war,” said Dean.

Many speakers Thursday evening say today is the first day in keeping Temple accountable.

There were calls to get involved with the NAACP, Wake Up Temple, and called for people to be engaged in civic leadership.

Attention was even drawn to the Citizen Police Advisory Association.