TROY, AL (WSFA) - Saturday morning a rally was held to protest what happened to a 17-year-old boy in Troy.
Organizers estimate 600 people gathered on Elm Street, right across from the Troy Police Station, calling for justice for Ulysses Wilkerson. Wilkerson was hospitalized last Saturday with injuries. Troy police say he sustained those injuries while resisting arrest. The Pike County NAACP called it "excessive force by law enforcement officers" in a press conference held Friday.
Those who attended say the message of the rally was to peacefully raise a collective voice to demand answers and get justice for Ulysses and his family.
"Where is the body cameras? Where is the video they have? What evidence do they have? Why did they stop him, Ulysses Wilkerson, at 11 p.m.? What was their reasoning? What was he suspicious of?" asked Pastor Kenneth Sharpton Glasgow.
The State Bureau of Investigation says all information surrounding the incident will be released after their investigation is complete.
Wilkerson's mother spoke in Brundidge Friday morning calling for the community to "take a stand against injustices like this." Angela Williams, Wilkerson's mother, also said she was devastated and horrified at her son's injuries and wants the officers responsible to be held accountable.
During Saturday's rally, there were chants calling for the officer involved in the arrest to be fired. Troy Mayor, Jason A. Reeves, confirmed Friday that the officer involved in the incident has been placed on leave.
In addition to calling for the officer's termination and the release of video evidence, demonstrators outlined a list of changes they'd like to see at the local and state level - including mandatory classroom hours for officers that have diversity and culture training, mental health training with specific instruction on progressive use of force, changes to Alabama's Open Records Act to make it easier for people to access information and the implementation of Citizen Advisory Boards with subpoena power to work with the Internal Affairs Departments in cities and the local police department to investigate instances like Wilkerson's arrest.
Demonstrators announced the deadline for action from city officials is Friday and promised more rallies and demonstrations are planned.
"We will make Jena 6 and St. Louis look like it was practice, but it will be peaceful," said Glasgow.
A date has not been set for the upcoming rally, but Glasgow said to look for an announcement after Friday and that rally could happen in Troy on U.S. Highway 231.
Wilkerson's family didn't want to speak much at the rally, but did say that he is resting, taking his medicine and continues to worry about his injured eye.
Wilkerson is charged with two misdemeanors - obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest.