LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - One month to the day after the shooting death of 17-year-old Michael Taylor, family, friends and community members marched to the Lakeland police station with one message: "Not in our county."
Lakeland Police officers said Taylor was driving a stolen vehicle, and accelerated toward one of them before they opened fire. Taylor later died from his injuries. Police have maintained that the shooting was justified.
But Clayton Cowart, who helped organize the march, said there's more to the story.
"We will not permit our young people, whether they're black, white [or] Hispanic, to be killed and murdered in our sight, and not stand up for justice," Cowart said. "They've got to do right by it."
As marchers of all ages took part, Cowart said encouraging peace was at the forefront.
"We should be angry, and we should not calm down, but we need to express our anger in a positive way, that can create positive change," Cowart said.
He said staying silent is not an option.
"If this starts in Polk County, and we don't make a cry today, the next murder will be something that's on our hands. So we're crying today so the powers will take their time examining this, and make the right decision," he said.
Due to pending litigation, the Lakeland Police had no further statements at this time. The incident is also being investigated by the State Attorney's office.