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'I just pray for peace': People gather for a change in Washington

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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Thursday, June 4, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

WASHINGTON, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Nearly all of the CSRA counties march in hopes for justice in Georga Floyd’s case but also changes in their communities. A small crowd gathered in the small town of Washington -- just one of the many cities wanting to be heard.

“There aren't words that can help you describe how it makes you feel," Lailani Wilcox, a resident said.

For the names they know like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery, but also for the many more they do not know, and perhaps never will.

“We put Black Lives Matter in bold right now because black lives are being affected at this moment in time," Marquis Jones, a resident said.

Jones says on many levels their town can relate to ongoing protests -- from divisions within the community as it relates to city council or even back in 2014, where the black community marched as the city police department faced being dismantled.

Protests across the nation bring to the forefront something. “A little fear in your heart" which is something he always felt like is a reality for people like him.

“You know when you see the lights, you automatically cringe. So you’re like OK you know what’s going to happen," Jones said.

And for Washington mom, Trudy Mahoney, it seems as if the worries have become inherent in communities of color.

“I have to teach them, you know, you don’t need to be scared of the police. You know they’re humans just like we are and they’re supposed to set a good example for you," Mahoney said.

With national data illustrating the majority of black families perceive police experiences as negative, people that gathered explain there’s a long way to go to bridge a national divide.

“I just pray for peace, that’s all I want to see is peace and that’s what we pray for every day, is peace and I hope one day that it will be peace," Mahoney said. "It’s going to be a day that we are going to have peace."

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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