MIAMI COUNTY — A group called “Miami County Justice” is planning a rally for racial justice on Sunday.
The rally will be held on Prouty Plaza in downtown Troy from 2-4 p.m.
Bailey Williams, a recent Troy High School graduate, is one of the rally’s organizers. For the last month, Williams has stood outside of the Miami County Courthouse with a “Black Lives Matter” sign for one hour each day.
“I went to a rally earlier in July in Dayton and we noticed some issues here in Troy, especially in terms of de facto housing segregation, like how a lot of our African-American community is pinned to one end of town,” said Williams on Thursday. Williams also noted the academic achievement scores for African-Americans is “dismal at best” compared to white students.
“There’s a lot of issues African-Americans are facing in our community that are going unheard or unseen,” Williams said.
According to the group’s Facebook page, the peaceful rally is to call attention to the recent national news headlines of the officer involved shooting deaths of African-Americans. The organization states it will also mark the two-year anniversary death of John Crawford III at the Beavercreek Wal-Mart. On Aug. 5, 2014, Crawford was shot and killed by officers who responded to the store on a report of a black male carrying a gun, which was later discovered to be a BB gun manufactured to look like a real weapon. A grand jury did not indict the officer who shot Crawford, but the case is still under federal investigation and a civil suit has been filed by the family.
The rally also plans to address local issues including the Lincoln Community Center’s budget issues. The rally also will commemorate the lives of the three young girls who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in February 2015.
The group states they are not specifically protesting the actions of the sheriff’s department or the Troy Police department.
”We believe that our community, like many others in this country, can be improved if the citizens and police hold open and honest dialogue. We hope this event will start some of those important conversations with our local law enforcement. Some of the organizers are the grandchildren of a former Troy officer, and we have the utmost respect our local police,” according to the Miami County for Justice Facebook page.
For more information, visit the Miami County for Justice Facebook page.
Reach Melanie Yingst [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews