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BAXLEY — The Appling County NAACP is calling for the removal of Sheriff Mark Melton and the termination of District Attorney Jackie Johnson as a result in the wrongful death of Kelsey Rayner, who was denied medical attention for a ruptured colon on the floor of a jail cell.

The Appling NAACP is planning a march Sept. 19 beginning at Appling County City Hall and ending at the Appling County Sheriff’s office. The call to action is in response to the wrongful death of Rayner, who passed away in jail after having a fever and complaining of intense pain. He was denied medical assistance for no reason. Later, it was discovered that his colon had ruptured and he died of infection. A civil suit is being filed against the sheriff’s office for criminal negligence.

The community is seeking new leadership after years of what it calls terror and neglect. NAACP leaders across Georgia and members of the I Run With Ahmaud team have come together to increase awareness around the attempt to remove Johnson and Melton from office, a critical action necessary to put an end to systemic racism that continues to terrorize black lives in the rural South.

Planned speakers at the Sept. 19 event include James Woodall, Georgia NAACP state president; John Perry, NAACP Brunswick president; Alfred Abramson, NAACP Appling Branch president; Gerry Moore, NAACP vice president; Telly Rayner, the brother of Kelsey Rayner; Jason Vaughn of I Run with Ahmaud; Gerald Griggs, vice president of the NAACP Atlanta Branch; and activists Kimberly Smith and Michael Holiday.

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