About 150 people gathered Wednesday evening in a candlelight vigil at Paine College and held a moment of silence for Troy Davis.
Unaware of the delay caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of a last-minute appeal filed by Davis’ lawyers, the school’s bell tower gave them an ominous signal in seven slow rings that the hour they dreaded had come.
“Innocence is lost in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Luther Felder, the campus pastor. “He is in your hands now, God.”
Students and community members marched from the school’s library to Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, chanting and picking up supporters along the way.
“Bless Troy Davis,” they chanted, “Spare his life.”
They offered prayers for Davis’ family and for that of the slain officer as well.
Wearing a shirt that said “I am Troy Davis,” Margarita Olivarez, the president of the Paine branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said, “This could be any of us. He’s an ordinary citizen. This could be one of us, our brother, sister, family member, us being in his place.”
As they sang We Shall Overcome some hugged and sobbed and others swayed, locked arm in arm.
Augusta NAACP branch President Charles Smith thanked them for coming out.
“One time in your life, you can say you stood for something,” he said. “You stood for justice and you stood for what is right. And you stood behind Troy Davis.”