Peaceful protest and march held in Baxley calling for justice for Kelsey Rayner

*(source: WTOC)
Updated: Sep. 19, 2020 at 11:50 PM EDT
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APPLING COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) -On the heels of worldwide protests, friends, family and community leaders took to the streets in Baxley, Saturday morning, calling for justice for #KelseyRayner.

“My brother was a kind, loving man," brother Telly Rayner said. “He was a hard-working man, a family man, he has children. He just liked to have fun, he loved life and he would help anybody that he can, he would also give you the shirt off of his back.”

Rayner was arrested in July of 2017 for misdemeanor charges and 11 days later he died in his jail cell due to sepsis caused by a ruptured colon. His family said he didn’t receive the medical attention he needed while in jail.

“My brother died a death that was senseless and painful, so we want justice for him and we want everybody to do what is right to get this young man justice," Rayner said.

His brother Telly spoke on behalf of the family as his mother held back tears. He said the system failed them.

“You hid this case, you hid it from us for three years, so we need it investigated. We’re calling for some jobs, we’re calling for badges, we’re calling for a thorough investigation of this case.”

Protesters marched from the Appling County courthouse to the county jail where Rayner died.

“People need to be held accountable," Appling County NAACP vice president Gerry Moore said. "He did not get the justice needed, he didn’t get the love, he didn’t get the support, he didn’t get the grace and mercy that he deserved to have.”

“It lets us know that we do have the support of the community and it lets us know that people have our backs.”

Rayner’s family said they want the case reopened, the officers arrested, also calling for District Attorney Jackie Johnson to step down or be removed and they won’t stop until they get answers.

“We will never stop," Rayner said. "We will go higher and higher and higher until somebody reaches us and gives us what we want. We will not stop here, I promise you this is just the beginning.”

Until then, Rayner said there’s just one last thing he would say to his younger brother.

“If I could say one thing to my brother, what would it be? Bro, we’re here for you and we will not let you die in vain, we will fight until the end to get justice for you.”

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