Protesters Gather in U.S. Cities Following Shooting Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Protesters gathered across the country Thursday to express outrage at the shooting deaths of two black men by police less than 48 hours apart.

Alton Sterling was fatally shot in an altercation with police in Baton Rouge on Tuesday. Philando Castile was killed during a traffic stop Wednesday night in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, suburb of Falcon Heights.

Thursday afternoon, a crowd gathered in front of the Minnesota governor's residence and chanted, "The change starts with me" as Native American dancers performed in traditional costume. A sign that read "Justice" was hoisted in front of the gated entrance. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton eventually ventured out to meet the sea of protesters, according to photos posted to social media.

A young protester stood away from the crowd at the governor's residence while wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with "Stop Killing Us" written in red on the back.

In Baton Rouge, Gov. John Bel Edwards led a prayer vigil, delivering remarks with leaders from the community and elected city officials. He said it was important for the state of Louisiana to "have peace at this critical time."

At a rally against police brutality in New York City's Union Square, marchers chanted "The whole damn system is guilty," while mentioning the names of other blacks who have died at the hands of police in recent years.

Elsewhere in Manhattan, there were protests in Times Square. About a dozen individuals were arrested, mostly for disorderly conduct, according to the NYPD.

Rallies took place in other major cities around the U.S. as well. One woman holding a sign in Philadelphia read, "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention." Police took some demonstrators into custody after they were blocking the ramp to Interstate 676, ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia reported.

Protesters ventured into the rain, also blocking traffic on major highways, chanting "No justice, no peace." There, umbrellas were more prevalent than signs.

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