About 100 people protesting the state's handling of a black man's dragging death case have avoided a designated protest zone near a Texas town's courthouse and are marching through downtown streets.

The demonstrators gathered Tuesday for a rally in Paris led by the black separatist group the New Black Panther Party.

Activist Jimmy Blackwell led the protesters past dozens of law enforcement officials and through the streets chanting "Black power!" and "No justice, no peace!"

There has been no sign of white supremecists or others who were expected to stage a counter-protest.

Demonstrators are protesting the death of 24-year-old Brandon McClelland, whose mangled body was found Sept. 16 on a country road outside of Paris. Murder charges were dropped last month against two white men arrested in his death.

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