Monroe group holds rally to honor lives lost to lynchings, police brutality

A group of Monroe residents wants justice for what’s happening today and in the city's past.

They have created an organization called F.O.R.M. which stands for “Fighting Oppression and Racism in Monroe.”

The group held a rally Friday evening to honor the victims of lynchings and police brutality.

“From the Moore’s Ford lynching of 1946 to the Lynn Jackson lynching of 1981 to the systematic racism and police brutality that is currently happening in Monroe right now, it has to change," said BreAnn Robinson, one of F.O.R.M.'s organizers. "The only way it's going to change is us using our voices and getting the laws changed.”

She says she’s fighting for her autistic son.

“My son is nine, and he has dealt with systematic racism since he was four years old," Robinson said. “I’m here to make a change for my child so when he sees a cop, he's not afraid, and I need to record because they might shoot me.”

And one Monroe pastor is fighting for the lives lost to lynchings, police brutality and racism.

“We know what time it is. And for those of us who don’t know what time it is, about eight minutes and 46 seconds," said Nathan Durham, senior pastor at New Beginnings Bible Church in Monroe.

Pastor Durham is referencing the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to George Floyd's neck before he died.

The cause hits close to home for Durham, whose cousin was Lynn Jackson.

Jackson died in Monroe in 1981, and police ruled his death a suicide. The evidence led others to believe his death was the result of a lynching.

Monroe is also the site of the Moore’s Ford lynchings, when a group of white men murdered two black couples in 1946.

“We must remember that Jesus was not crucified for just being a nice man. You don’t get crucified for feeding hungry people. You don't get crucified for healing the sick," Durham said. "But whenever you become a threat to the oppressive status quo, that’s when you get crucified.”