HEMINGWAY, S.C. (AP) — The family of a Black man killed by a South Carolina police officer who now faces charges marched Saturday to honor his life and protest his death.
More than 50 people marched down Main Street in the small town of Hemingway in a call for justice as part of the “Stop Killing Us March.”
“It’s glad that we are together but it’s sad we had to come together,” said Tryon Wilson, the march’s organizer.
Robert Junior Langley, 46, was killed Feb. 6 after investigators said he rolled through a stop sign and led Hemingway Police Officer Cassandra Dollard on a 9-mile (14-kilometer) chase outside the town of 530 people.
Dollard shot Langley as he crashed and was trying to get out of the passenger side of his car, state agents said. She told investigators she feared for her life, but also that she never confirmed he had a weapon. No weapon was found at the shooting scene, according to an arrest warrant.
Dollard is charged with voluntary manslaughter and faces two to 30 years in prison if convicted. She was fired from the police department four days after the shooting. She is currently free on bond and is scheduled to appear in court in April. It was not immediately known if she is represented by an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
Langley’s mother said even if the officer is convicted, it won’t bring her son back, WPDE-TV reported.
“He was my heart, he was my loved one, he was my buddy, he was my friend, and I just can’t tell you how much it hurt to lose him,” Roslyn Langely said.
Langley’s sister said she believes something needs to change or else another family will suffer as her relatives have.
“He has grandbabies that are going to be born, he got marriages that are going to happen, he has graduations that are going to happen. All of that is going to happen now and he isn’t going to witness any of it. Like I said, if we don’t do something different, he won’t be the only one missing out,” Nicola Langley said.
The family thanked everyone for showing up and said the fight for justice won’t stop until there is a permanent change.