Marchers take steps for justice

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Paul B. Johnson, The High Point Enterprise, N.C.
·3 min read
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Apr. 25—HIGH POINT — The Rev. Orrick Quick surveyed the rainbow of colors represented by the hundreds of marchers gathered Sunday afternoon in south High Point and smiled as he thanked God for the moment.

The local pastor at Miracle Temple of Deliverance church served as the main organizer of the second One Nation 4 Justice march.

The first march was held in June 2020 in the immediate aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department officers. The march last spring was one of the largest turnouts for a political event in modern High Point history, drawing about 1,000 people.

As people started showing up on a warm, overcast afternoon for Sunday's march, Quick took note of the diverse backgrounds of the participants.

"You already see multiple colors of people for this event," Quick told The High Point Enterprise. "Unity is the main goal."

When Quick began organizing the second One Nation 4 Justice march, he couldn't have envisioned the timing would coincide with the verdict in the first trial over Floyd's killing.

On Tuesday, a jury in Minneapolis found former officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter charges in the May 25 death of Floyd. Chauvin, who is white, used his knee to pin the neck of Floyd, who was Black, to the ground for more than nine minutes.

Quick, a former candidate for High Point City Council, said the goal of both marches mirrored each other — to unite the community against injustice.

The largest contingent at Sunday's march — totaling over 100 people — were family members of the late teenager Fred Cox Jr. and their supporters. They wore "Fred Cox Matters" shirts to symbolize their quest for justice for the young man shot and killed this past fall.

Cox, who was Black, was killed Nov. 8 at a memorial service outside an east High Point church by a plain-clothes Davidson County Sheriff's Office deputy. The killing played out against the backdrop of a drive-by shooting that happened at the memorial service for a teenager whose body was found last fall in Davidson County near Thomasville.

National civil rights attorney Ben Crump has visited High Point to support the Cox family and call for the deputy who shot Cox to be charged. Family members and witnesses to the shooting say Cox was killed while saving other people.

Before the march began, Quick told the crowd that they were gathered to celebrate justice in the verdict of the Floyd trial while demanding justice for Cox.

Quick and march organizers enlisted the support of the High Point Police Department to illustrate that the demonstrations last June and on Sunday weren't intended to protest against all police officers, just acts of police brutality or misconduct.

High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud and several of his top officers attended the gathering before the march, as well as serving in the patrol detail that followed the march route.

Like last June's event, marchers started from the intersection of S. Main Street and W. Market Center Drive and traversed a route to the Morehead Recreation Center on Price Street off Leonard Avenue. The marchers gathered at a lot along W. Market Center near the Davis furniture corporate campus.

pjohnson@hpenews.com — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul