The Columbus Police Department expects a peaceful afternoon Saturday during the Trayvon Martin peace rally and candlelight vigil. News Three spoke to the police department today who look for a number of factors when assigning police officers to rallies in the city.
Major Julius Graham said there are four factors that the department uses when deciding the amount of police to send to rallies. He says they do not disclose the actual number of officers but there will definitely be a police presence.
"When you have an open rally, you never know who may attend and not everyone that attends has the same peaceful agenda in mind," said Graham. Major Graham said the police department looks at certain factors when deciding how many officers to place at rallies. These include, the type of rally, the anticipated number of participants, the venue, and the history of the particular rally or rallies like it. Major Graham says the history of Columbus rallies for Trayvon Martin has been positive.
"The last one was very peaceful, non violent, and we don't anticipate anything different this time," said Graham. Organizers are expecting about a thousand people to fill the Government Center courtyard tomorrow. They want justice for Trayvon Martin and an end to gun violence across the United States.
"We want to remember those that died at the hands of gun violence and let it be known that this is something that we will not stand for in our community," said Marquese Averett, the rally organizer. About 400 people attended the last Trayvon Martin event held by the Young Minority Leaders and they expect a bigger crowd this time around.
"I think more people are going to be out here expressing their concern of this case and I think we're going to have a pretty good turn out," said Averett. The Young Minority Leaders are hoping to see a lot of high school and college students on Saturday.
"Anytime a great revolution has been held in this country, it's always been young people at the forefront," said Averett.
The rally will take place at noon on Saturday July 20th in the courtyard of the Government Center.
This rally is a part of Al Sharpton's "100 City Vigil" calling for the federal government to investigate civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.
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