They walked shoulder to shoulder — protesters and police of multiple races and creeds. They were united in the same goal Monday: ending the violence by those with authority.

Those in the community had issues with what has happened — in the past days in Minnesota to a man named George Floyd, and beyond that with acts of violence by police against people of color. They wanted to be heard, and got the chance.

It was all done peacefully, civilly, productively and constructively.

Kissimmee, you were an example to other areas of the country where riots have gone unchecked. If a healing process sweeps our nation, perhaps it will have started in Osceola County, and in Kissimmee specifically.

An event organized by a partnership of community leaders and the Kissimmee Police Department attracted hundreds of supporters of ceasing police-induced violent acts. They marched, loudly but peacefully, from the Kissimmee Civic Center down Broadway, the canyon of downtown business, to KPD headquarters, where community activists spoke and shared their concerns and anger — and yes, they were angry, but with an ability to express it without attaching it to vandalism or destruction.

The event started with a prayer at the Civic Center before the group moved on to KPD, where the message was finding peace and justice for all. The night’s first speakers there challenged both police and residents to act with an increase in love, level heads, openness and honesty, and a decrease in violence.

“No love, no peace,” was their mantra, taking a side step from the words of “No justice, no peace” common through the event.

Uniformed officers from Osceola County’s three law enforcement agencies and their leaders — KPD Chief Jeff O’Dell, St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett and Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson — marched alongside citizens just in their uniforms, without helmets, guns or bulletproof shields. Other officers marched with signs saying they stand against police brutality and racial injustice. In essence they marched as protesters against brutality as well, at one with citizens.

They spoke and shared concerns, anger, confusion, and frustration, and they did it with a common hope, that we can come together to improve who we are as a community and as a nation.

“All I can do is speak from the heart,” O’Dell said. “We denounce what we saw in Minnesota. There was no reason for what happened that day. But I felt like you needed more from me than that or a social media post from me.

“I will never know what it’s like to walk in your shoes without having a relationship with you. You absolutely matter to me and to the rest of the people in this department. And if I find out otherwise, they don’t work here anymore, it’s that simple.”

KPD officers have body cameras, and incidents of police aggression are investigated, he reminded the crowd.

St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett said that officers look out for and over each other in St. Cloud.

“There’s no one that hates a bad cop any more than a good cop,” he said.

Tamika Lyles spoke Monday on behalf of a hurting African American community — and as the mother of three boys.

“I serve as an advocate, but nothing comes before being a mother,” she said passionately. “The fear my 27 and 24-year-old might run in to the wrong person driving around is real. We need the rest of the community to understand and feel what we feel.”

Lyles channeled the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., who in his time declared riot as “the language of the unheard.”

“I’m here to assure you are heard,” she said. “Be silent no longer.”