JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More than a hundred people gathered to protest not only police brutality but also Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s actions last week when she dismissed a case against a former cop for shooting and killing a black man.
Demonstrators say that incident coupled with the killing of George Floyd last month is too much to bear.
The protest that began outside Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office ended at the Mississippi State Capitol as organizers were wrongly denied access to those public buildings.
Members of the Poor People’s Campaign intended to deliver a letter asking for evidence in the case to be released to the public.
At the time, a man who appeared to be with Capitol Police told the group the building was closed because of COVID-19, but Fitch spokesperson Ray Coleman said their office -- and the building -- was open.
The same law enforcement officer also told protesters at the State Capitol that the building was also closed because of the coronavirus, and people would need an appointment to enter, but after twenty minutes of pressure from the crowd, they eventually acquiesced and let three representatives inside so they could deliver the letter.
Fitch dismissed a manslaughter indictment against former Columbus cop Canyon Boykin for shooting and killing Ricky Ball, telling 3 On Your Side this week there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
“I am not afraid to speak up for my people! I am not afraid to be killed if it’s for the right cause!” said David Horton.
Frustration, anger and determination could be heard for blocks from more than a hundred people who met outside the Sillers Building in downtown Jackson Friday.
Those protesters had signs mentioning names of black men and women killed across the nation by police.
“Marc was shot in his chest, his neck and his back. No one with their back to you is a threat," said Catherine Davis, whose son was killed by a Petal police officer in 2017.
The officer arrived after Marc called 911 for help and approached the officer needing medical assistance.
“We have got to stop these officers from thinking they are the judicial system. They are not judge, jury and executioner. This has to stop,” Catherine Davis said.
Many speakers at Friday’s protest directed their frustrations toward Fitch.
“I’m an 18-year-old black woman in Mississippi. And every day I look at my classmates who look like me. 99 percent of us look like me, and I wonder which one of us is going to end up on a list?" said Maisie Brown.
One demonstrator questioned other’s requests for peace during this time, as if the protesters’ views should be silenced.
“The definition of peace is a state or period where there is no war or a war has ended. America’s war on black people can be traced through every decade," she said. "Peace for you has meant death for us.”