Group protests Ferguson decision in downtown Macon

A group of protesters gathered in downtown Macon on Wednesday evening to peacefully demonstrate against a recent grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager.

The demonstration was orchestrated by Macon resident Yolande Vicks, who said the group was displeased that Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The group gathered at the edge of Rosa Parks Square on the corner of Poplar and First streets, across from the Government Center, one of many such demonstrations across the country.

“There’s an excessive amount of force when our young black boys, especially, (have an) encounter with the police,” Vicks said.

Vicks said the group of about 10 people in Macon wasn’t “anti-police” and that she thought it was important that people saw an expression of disapproval other than the violence that has taken place in Ferguson and elsewhere.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis, who spoke with the group, said he supports the rights of a “peaceful group” to gather. He said he wants to make sure they were safe while doing so.

“I don’t have a problem with that at all,” Davis said. “This is a situation that has a lot of passion on all sides.”

Vicks said that Davis’ presence “means a lot” to her and said it showed another side of the situation. Davis made sure to introduce himself and shook hands with each of the protesters.

“The media wants to make it seem like it’s white versus black, and it’s not,” she said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.