Protesters gather in Columbus over dropped manslaughter charge

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Riots and protests have been happening all across the country since the death of George Floyd. But in Columbus, a local case bringing people to the picket line.

The crowds got bigger and bigger as more supporters and friends of Ricky Ball gathered together for their voices to be heard.

“Well we are having a protest today, we are coming together because of the madness that is going on in the city of Columbus,” said Arthur Harris, an attendee.

Columbus leaders, friends, and family members of Ricky Ball gathered at Leigh Mall Saturday to have a peaceful protest.

They want to know why the Mississippi attorney general will no longer pursue a manslaughter charge against former Columbus police officer Canyon Boykin.

“Back in 2015, there are so many different things that happened with it but he shot Ricky Ball, a young African American in the back while he was running away and 5 years later they just dropped the case with nothing and didn’t give the public anything,” said City Councilman Pierre Beard. “We want answers, he wants answers, everybody wants answers.”

Beard is encouraging people to share and show their frustrations but in a constructive way.

“If you don’t vote in local or statewide elections, then your voices will remain silent. People don’t put their selves in office, your votes do,” said Beard. “Yes, there are flaws in the system, you can’t bark if you don’t want to bite. Secondly, if you want to peacefully protest, please go ahead. However, before you consider destroying property in our city, please consider the local business owners who have fought so hard for their business. Stay encouraged, better days are coming.”

There were no reported incidents at the protest today.

Here is Beard’s full statement.

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