Peaceful rally held in Franklin with local officials and community members

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 10:05 PM CDT
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Sunday evening Downtown Franklin was full of those who were wishing for their voices to be heard.

Several speakers took to the stage from the Simpson County Judge-Executive to the police chief and sheriff as well as several community leaders to express how they are feeling about recent events that have taken place in Minneapolis and Louisville.

"I had a few people message me after they had seen the rally being posted on social media and ask me why I approved that and I let them know that the constitution of the United States of America approved this gathering today," said Mason Barnes, Simpson County Judge-Executive.

"God I just believe that Franklin will rise up above all cities to let them know silence is not the way, that we can love one another that we can hold each other in times like these," said Randy Taylor, Pastor.

"When I look at things that happen like in Minneapolis that is beyond tragic, it is pathetic, it is ridiculous it is completely uncalled for and unjustified, or any kind of thing you want to say because when you watch the video it just makes me sick," said Police Chief Roger Solomon. "It makes me sick to my stomach because an officer betrayed his badge, he betrayed his family name, he betrayed everything that a human being stands for."

He went on, "there was nothing justified about his actions. Not one thing, but it does not exemplify law enforcement across the United States. People like him are in the minority, I can assure you the Franklin Police Department does not condone that kind of behavior."

"How do you stop what happens in Minneapolis? You voice your opinion, but it starts like the chief of police said. I don't run the police department I run the sheriff's office. It is my mission to find the best trained qualified professionals to bring you the best service that I can and those trained qualified professionals know right from wrong. I won't allow wrong to be in the sheriff's office," said Sheriff Jere Dee Hopson.

"This is a question everybody has been asking on social media; why are they damaging all that property, if it is a riot and they want people to pay attention to them, why are they doing this? I am going to tell you why now listen to me white people this has nothing to do with you all. Black people are hurting we are angry we are mad we are hurting," said Jane Lewis, community leader.

"We can't heal this land until we do the four requirements; we have to seek, we have to pray, we have to turn and we have to humble ourselves. Look in the mirror at what we have done to contribute to the problem. I stand here a proud black woman, both my parents are buried in the Arlington cemetery, two of my brothers served this nation, my dad took a bullet for this nation, he died of agent orange for this nation. I am a very proud person I have very many friends both black, white, Mexican, gay, straight, it doesn't matter -- All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter," said Nancy Uhls, community leader.

"When we have these rallies and when we have situations that happen like this, we go home and it is over and I just mean that it is over," said Wendell Stewart, City Commissioner. "What would happen thirty days from now? 60 days from now? 90 days from now? What is going to happen, what will happen?"

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