LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Friends, family, and community members gathered in Lockport on Wednesday to honor the memory of Troy Hodge. Hodge died one year ago while in police custody.
Dozens gathered in front of his mother's home, starting with a prayer before marching half a mile to across from City Hall. Marchers chanted, "No justice, no peace," and "Black Lives Matter." The night finished with a candle light vigil.
“Complete support from the community, we have so many people from so many different backgrounds and this is exactly what Lockport is supposed to be about," said Hodge's step-daughter Desiree Crenshaw
The march in Lockport echoed calls for change across the country. The family said they planned the march before George Floyd's death.
“When you saw George Floyd, I saw Troy," said Hodge's cousin Lashonda Mckenzie. "And to hear George Floyd call out for his mother, I saw my cousin Tina watching her son die.”
Mckenzie is calling for police reform, including deescalation and mental health training.
Lockport Mayor Michelle Roman was at the march and said the city is working on ways to make the police department more diverse.
“We want to change some of the training aspects of our officers," she said. "We want to-- we were going out to different colleges trying to recruit candidates, we want to offer preparation classes to take the civil service exam to be a police officer.”
Mckenzie said she hopes a tragedy can turn into progress.
"The change has to start somewhere, why can't Lockport be it."
The Attorney General's office is investigating Hodge's death. Both the AG's office and Mayor Roman said they can't comment until the investigation is complete.