The Bulloch County NAACP will lead a “Silent No More” protest march Saturday in Statesboro at 5:30 p.m.
The march will start at the Agape Worship Center on West Grady Street and end at the Bulloch County Courthouse. Officials said they hope the march brings awareness to recent police-related shootings across the nation and to encourage peaceful cooperation among citizens and police.
Bulloch NAACP President Pearl Brown said the event is led by NAACP members Francys Johnson and Jonathan McCollar.
McCollar said the event was organized Thursday.
“We want to bring the community together and make them aware (of previous police-related shootings) and make sure that what has happened elsewhere in the nation doesn’t happen here,” he said.
Johnson was not immediately available for comment Friday.
In a Facebook post Friday, McCollar announced “In light of the recent events in regards to the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the Dallas 5, there will be a “Silent No More” protest and march. We will be organizing at 4:30 p.m. at Agape Worship Center …and begin the march to the Courthouse at 5:30 p.m. We are encouraging everyone to come out and support!!”
Sterling and Castile, both black, were shot by white police officers earlier this week. Videos on smart phones raised questions about police actions in both shootings.
Sterling was shot Tuesday in Baton Rouge. Castile was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota Wednesday.
In Dallas Thursday night, a gunman was killed by police using a robot and explosives after he opened fire at the end of a peaceful protest, killing five police officers and wounding seven others. Two civilians also were wounded.
The gunman, an Army veteran named Micah Xavier Johnson, of Mesquite, Tx., told police negotiators he wanted to “kill whites, especially white officers.”
A Facebook meme showing blood splatters and a black man with a piece of tape over his mouth, upon which was written “Black Lives Matter,” also was circulated on social media Friday.
The meme stated “No More Silence – Stop the Blood; Take a Stand.” It also advertised the Statesboro protest march.
Local law enforcement agencies plan to assist and ensure safety at the event.
“”We have been notified about the event by the organization (NAACP),” said Statesboro Police Sgt. Jake Saxon. “We are going to work with them to help ensure the success of the event.”
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Akins said his department would be on standby in case their help is needed, and deputies would be made aware of possible road closings in case of the need to take different routes in responding to calls.
“We’re more than ready to assist if needed,” he said.
Each said such events in the past have remained peaceful, and expect today’s event to be the same.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.