Supporters rally for Black Pride Four as jury selection begins


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There was a hallway full people at the Franklin County Courthouse Monday, all supporting the Black Pride Four.

They sat quietly but their minds focused on the undergoing jury selection.

Aaron Eckhardt is the Interim executive director of B.R.A.V.O. and said they wanted to send a message to the City of Columbus.

“When one of us is hurt we’re all hurt,” said Eckhardt. “None of us are free until we’re all free.”

He and members from Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus said it is important that they keep supporting Kendall Denton, Ashley Braxton, Wriply Bennett, and Deandre Miles.

“The importance of like being here today is just to let the Black Pride Four know that we aren’t going to let them stand alone,” said Dkeama Alexis.

The Black Pride Four were arrested and charged after protesting and getting into this altercation with Columbus Police during the city’s Pride Parade in June of 2017.

On Monday, three of them, Wriply, Ashley, and Kendal, sat through jury selection with a group of supporters outside courtroom door wearing purple to show their solidarity with them.

Their hopes is that their message will reach the ears of those who can make change happen.

“We’re really hoping for a win at the end of this week,” said Alexis. “That winning is the only option. We want to get all of these charges dropped.”

They added this is not the end of this fight. They believe more work can be done, but everyone has to pull together.

“I think it’s talking to our friends, our neighbors, our families,” said Eckhardt. “All throughout our history social justice has been done in the street.”

Court proceedings will continue through the week and the supporters said they’ll be there at the courthouse every day.

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