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Protesters March Through Hearne To Demand Firing, Arrest of Officer

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(KCEN) - Protestors took to the streets of Hearne Thursday to demand action.

"I knew her from a little kid," Christopher Edwards said of Pearlie Golden.

So when he heard the news the 93-year-old had been shot and killed outside her home by a police officer, "I said, 'Ms. Sully?'" Edwards said, referring to the nickname Golden had picked up in the community. "I said, 'Of all things? They had to shoot her?'"

Edwards is one of about 125 who marched through Hearne Thursday, saying they were looking for justice.

"There has to be an outcome to this that's on the positive side," said protester Douglas Staten.

For the marchers, the right outcome is to see Officer Stephen Stem fired and indicted.

Stem fired multiple shots at Golden Tuesday evening around 6:30. She later died of her wounds.

Police say she had a firearm and wouldn't put it down when Stem asked her to.

The protesters say that's not good enough of an answer.

They marched through the streets, shouting, "What do we want? Justice!"

Many of them were carrying signs; some of them just a simple reminder of what had happened, others a more direct call to action.

They finished their protest walk at the Hearne Police Department, where Quanell X, leader of the New Black Panther Nation out of Houston, also called for Stem's dismissal.

"We want him indicted, we want him arrested, we want him prosecuted, and we no longer want him with a badge or a gun," he said.

He also told the crowd to be ready to defend themselves if they came across Stem.

"We have a right of self-defense," he said. "We don't believe that this man is following the law."

The mayor promised the crowd the city will take action on Saturday.

Regardless of the investigation, he's going to recommend Stem be fired.

"The community has lost confidence in this officer," Mayor Ruben Gomez said, "and that's something that the city of Hearne does not want to have employed."

But there's still the matter of the investigation.

"I just want justice to be served," Edwards said.

We've reached out to the Hearne PD for more information on what happened, including the original police report from that night. They told us we'd have to wait until the investigation is over.

Until then, the protesters are prepared for a long battle.

"We're going nowhere," Quanell X said.

"We're going to fight," 36-year Hearne resident Micheal Washington said. "This is our territory."

Their next move could come Wednesday of next week at a community meeting.

The protesters are even more upset that this is officer Stem's second shooting death on the job in less than three years on the force.

The first came in December of 2012. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in May of last year.
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