LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Family and friends new and old of Trayford Pellerin remembered his life, death, and legacy on the second week anniversary of his death.
The vigil was held at the gas station where he was shot and killed by police in what they say was their final of multiple attempts to stop a threat to life.
People in attendance did call for justice, but they also came to remember the man he was and the change he made in their lives.
“He was an inspired barber,” shared Choicey Pellerin, Trayford’s aunt. “He loved spending time with his family, and he loved to cook,” she added.
Choicey and speakers before and after emphasized Trayford Pellerin is more than a name that inspired a movement. Friday night, he was remembered for who he was before.
“He meant no harm at all. Trayford wouldn’t have hurt a fly. He may stumble here or there like all of us do, but the picture that they are painting my nephew in is by far the untruth,” Choicey added.
While authorities have said they had no choice but to shoot Pellerin multiple times so they could defend those at the Shell gas station, those by candlelight argued things should have ended differently.
“This is ridiculous. Trayford Pellerin’s aunt, Latasha Richard, stated. “How many mothers, how many families, how many fathers have to die because they’re too fast? They’re too fast. Did he deserve what happened two weeks ago? Did he?”
Words and songs wove together as the mourned the lost life. Musician Ignatious Carmouche sang, “People are dying by the hands of those we trust. The tragedy used to be so far away, but now the tragedy’s here with us.”
Trayford’s mother, Michelle Pellerin, didn’t address the crowd but wept, only saying “thank you” for the community that has become an extended family who is fighting for the son she lost.
The feelings were echoed in Carmouche’s lyrics. “We shall all be one. We shall overcome,” he repeated in chorus.
Calls to action dominated much of the time. Lafayette Councilmen AB Rubin and Pat Lewis asked for involvement to keep elected leaders and police accountable. Community activist Jamal Taylor said they didn’t want to loot or burn Lafayette only justice.
The closure for the family is not complete. The investigation is ongoing, and the protests continue Saturday, including a statewide “Solidarity with Lafayette in New Orleans @6 P.M. in front of city hall.