Protesters blocked traffic in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday evening as part of a "Day of Atonement Solidarity Rally and March for Philando Castile."

About 300 people gathered for the rally in Loring Park, then marched the few blocks to downtown, where many lay down in the intersection of 9th and Hennepin. The march then continued on to Target Center and the Basilica Block Party before heading back to Loring Park.

Many wore red to symbolize the bloody events of the past week in Minnesota, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere.

Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said the idea for the rally was hatched at a 4 a.m. discussion Saturday outside the governor's residence, where a vigil sprang up in the hours after Castile's death.

Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker from St. Paul, was fatally shot by a police officer Wednesday night during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights. The aftermath, as he lay dying in the driver's seat, was live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend sitting alongside him while her 4-year-old sat in the back seat.

His death, coming one day after the fatal shooting of another black man, Alton Sterling, in Louisiana and one day before a sniper killed five police officers in Dallas, has put Minnesota in the center of national anguish over race and law enforcement.

Levy-Pounds told the crowd, "the blood is on our hands" for the death of Castile and other black men killed by police.

"When an officer kills an unarmed person, we have to stop agreeing with narrative that the officer feared for his life." The Loring Park crowd was three-fourths white and a wide range of ages.

"I could not just keep sitting by," said Caroline Nerhus, 38, of Forest Lake. "I had to let people know that I'm white and all black lives matter."

Cleo Sykes, 43, of Minneapolis, who is black, came with her daughters. She said she was "devastated, heartbroken, angry."

Brenda Blaisdell, 44, who is white, told the rally that her 21-year-old daughter, who is black and lives in Hopkins, had been pulled over by Hopkins police 11 times in the past year.

"I'm scared for her, she's scared, too," said Blaisdell.

When organizers invited people in the crowd to speak, one man said that people should pick up guns. "No, no," others shouted, and the man was escorted away. "We advocate nonviolence," Levy-Pounds said.

In St. Paul, tensions mounted as police ordered protesters off I-94, where they had gathered to block traffic. Earlier in the day, Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith met with Castile's family and friends, Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson said. He said the governor plans to meet with representatives of the NAACP on Sunday.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.