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Tallahassee leaders call for social justice as nation reflects on March on Washington 57 years ago

Posted at 5:51 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 17:51:54-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — From the State Capital to the Nation's Capital, people from Tallahassee are marching in Washington more than 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s infamous speech.

Crowds started gathering, socially-distanced, to listen to speakers at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Tallahassee chapter of the NAACP president Adner Marcellin flew to the nation's Capital this week for the March on Washington.

While speakers like Reverand Al Sharpton stood alongside the family of George Floyd, in Tallahassee, city and faith leaders stood alongside law enforcement to call for social justice.

"We wanted to make sure our community, Tallahassee is ready to implement real police reform," said Reverend R. Holmes. "And that the chief of police and the sheriff of Leon County are doing that."

Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Pastor RB Holmes says he knows it's not a department issue, but calls it a responsible one.

"There's got to be a policy in place to weed out bad officers," Holmes said. "We do know now that the majority of officers are good people, quality people, and great people but we need to continue to understand what's happening nationally and make sure that's not happening locally."

In Tallahassee, one group is pushing toward that progress Saturday in honor of Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old man who was shot seven times by a police officer
in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"This is an outcry and an outrage and humiliation and frustration and injustice in this community as well as the community Jacob lived in," said Trish Brown, one of the co-founders of Tallahassee Community Action Committee, the group holding a rally in solidarity to Blake's family and other black lives here in town that were killed in officer-involved-shootings.

Brown says the only way things will get better is by speaking up.

"We've got to change the mentality of people in the community," Brown said. "We've got to stop people who are trying to silence all of us from speaking our minds and speaking out about what we feel is right and wrong in this community. We have to stand together and we have to pull together as one."

TCAC will meet at the food truck court on Bronough Street at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

In Washington D.C., speakers and musical performances will continue until about 10 p.m.