NATCHEZ, Miss. (WJTV) – You’ve seen the unrest sparked by George Floyd’s death across America, but in the midst of that signs of hope and togetherness rise up.
So how are Mississippi communities reacting to do their part?
Both law enforcement, government staff, and people who call Natchez and Adams County home feel the anger leading to unrest across the nation. To help everyone heal and the community progress from Natchez’s own controversial history they rallied together.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” County Supervisor Ricky Gray said.
Following a peaceful march led by community activists to honor and demand justice for George Floyd’s death. County and city leaders joined their cause outside the courthouse.
“In times like these leaders don’t step to the back they lead,” Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said. “And that’s what you’re seeing here today.”
“George Floyd wouldn’t except all the looting and rioting right now,” Robert Bates of Natchez told us. “It’s all about coming together as one right now with Black Lives Matter and stop the police brutality.”
The gathering outlined a balanced diversity ratio of whites and African Americans who call Adams County home. Recognizing progress depends on all races to join.
“It’s important for me because I love this community and I love my country,” Kathleen Bond of Natchez explained. “And I wanted to see us move forward together and heal the hurts from our past so we can have a great future.”
The tragedy of George Floyd also reminded locals of Natchez holding a troubling past of racial injustice, but current authorities want to assure we’re all on the same side.
“We care for you, we love you, we hear you, we feel your pain,” Sheriff Patten announced. “Don’t think we don’t hurt when actions like that happen as well.”
“I’m going to stand with the victim when the victim is being abused regardless of who that person might be,” Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong added.
The community unifying will continue this week with mayor Darryl Grennell declaring June 5. the city will mourn asking all churches to ring their bells from noon to 12:30 and police will lead a silent drive around the city to honor George Floyd’s memory.
Mayor Darryl Grennell also announced on June 14. he wants to declare city and county wide a holiday of unity to remember the decisions which got us this far.