COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Saturday morning began with the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired” march from 4th Street Missionary Baptist Church to the Government Center.
“Say his name. George Floyd," the crowd chanted as they marched.
A prayer vigil followed the march where they held a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which is how long persecutors say a police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck while he laid on the ground. Pastor Adrian Chester with Greater Beallwood Baptist Church lead the 8:46 of silence as he repeated George Floyd’s cries for help.
“Those 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence seemed like an eternity. Although very relative short amount of time just time passing by, but when you have to actually pause and reflect on what George Floyd was going through in that moment, those few minutes of being uncomfortable are well worth it to bring awareness," Chester said.
Local and state elected officials and community leaders gave remarks.
“We are really concerned about things in the world and we wanted to voice it and what we tried to do was to bring a collection of people together that could actually help facilitate that. It’s going to take all of us for things to change," said Oz Roberts, President of the NPHC’s Columbus Chapter.
Later in the morning, an even larger crowd gathering for another peace rally where they walked from the old Rite Aid on Wynnton Road to the City Service Center for the “My Black has a Purpose Peace Rally.”
Several leaders also spoke following the march including Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren. Most of the crowd took a knee during Chief Boren’s remarks while some members in the crowd expressed that they’re still upset about people being arrested during a peaceful protest the week before.
The mother of Jarvis Lykes gave an emotional address to the crowd.
“My son was 35-years-old when he was shot and killed by a Georgia State Trooper on December 29, 2017 right here in Columbus, Georgia," Lykes’ mother said.
Both rallies remained peaceful.