A grassroots campaign on Facebook is encouraging shoppers not to go out in Columbus on Black Friday because of the Ricky Ball shooting.
Ward 4 Councilman Marty Turner shared a post Wednesday on his Facebook page with the #JusticeForRickey hashtag. The image encourages people to spend “Not one dime” on the annual shopping holiday to protest Ball’s shooting and slow response from authorities.
“They’re planning to boycott Black Friday shopping pretty much altogether — especially in major shopping areas,” Turner said. “There are several groups working together to try to do this. It’s not just me or the Ball family. It’s a collaborative effort.”
Ball, 26, was shot by Columbus police officers on the night of Oct. 16. The incident occurred near 15th Avenue North. Ball was a passenger in a car officers pulled over. Authorities say he fled the scene, was Tased and ultimately shot twice, though authorities have not said where he was struck. He later bled to death at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle.
Police say a 9mm handgun and marijuana were found near where Ball collapsed. The 9mm, authorities say, had been reported stolen from a CPD officer’s home in August.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
There were three CPD officers involved: Canyon Boykin, Johnny Branch and Yolanda Young. They were each equipped with body cameras, but none activated the devices prior to or during the shooting. Boykin was fired by the city council. Branch and Young were suspended. Authorities have not said who shot Ball.
Police Chief Tony Carleton resigned in the wake of the shooting.
Turner said the protest’s focus is to keep the Ball situation in the forefront as people continue to wait for any updates on the investigation from state or city authorities.
“People think if nothing said about it, they’ll forget,” Turner said. “They’re not going to forget. They’re not going to stop until they get answers, and they want answers.”
The Dispatch has placed multiple calls to Warren Strain, the MBI spokesperson, asking for an update on the investigation. The Dispatch has not heard back.
Turner said a demonstration is planned for the “near future” at the intersection of Fifth and Main streets.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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