April 3 – Denise O’Neal marched down Mallery Street on Saturday with two teenagers chanting “Justice for Trent” in the hope that girls and all young people can learn a lesson from the Trent Lehrkamp story.

“I think it’s important for children to know that what happened was wrong and that if they know something, they should tell their parents,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal and nearly 200 other people gathered behind the St. Simons Island Casino Saturday afternoon with signs reading things like “Hate has no place at SSI,” “Together we can end bullying,” and “Justice.” for Trent.”

The goal of the rally was two-fold: to show support for Lehrkamp, ​​19, who is still recovering in hospital after three minors left him in the emergency room on March 21 near-death with a level of alcohol. in blood of .464. and covered in spray paint and urine, and call for the arrest of the people they say are responsible for Lehrkamp’s hospitalization.

Glynn County police confirmed Sunday that Lehrkamp has been released from the hospital at Southeast Georgia Health System and will continue his recovery out of state.

The police investigation into Lehrkamp’s case became public on March 26 when a photo and video began circulating widely on social media showing Lehrkamp enduring what people gathered Saturday called “abuse” and “torture.”

The video, which police say was taken on March 17, shows Lehrkamp slumped in a chair as a teenager sprays him with a hose and other teens stand nearby.

The photo, which police say was taken on March 21, shows what appears to be an unconscious Lehrkamp glued to a chair, covered in spray paint and other items and substances with four children posing behind him.

While the crowd at the rally used words like “abuse” and “torture” on Saturday to describe the incidents, police have yet to officially call it anything. No arrests or charges had been filed in the case as of Saturday, 11 days after Lehrkamp was left breathing only six times a minute in the emergency room.

The lack of arrests sparked the demonstration on Saturday. Organizer Theawanza Brooks said 11 days is already too long for there to be no arrests. He said the Golden Isles community has seen too many times the Glynn County Police Department cover up crimes by failing to make arrests. Brooks noted that in this case, the community should not have to wait 74 days for charges as it did in the case against the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery.

“This continues to be an issue for us in Glynn County,” he said.

Brooks called for a peaceful rally, and got one as the crowd carried their signs, some in Trent’s favorite color red, and marched from the flagpole, down the sidewalk at Neptune Park, up Mallery Street to Ocean Boulevard and then back down Demere Street to Neptune Park. She led the march, calling out “Justice” through a megaphone and getting a response of “for Trent,” among other rallying cries.

Dozens of Glynn County police officers and Glynn County sheriff’s deputies walked alongside them, stopping and directing traffic as the group marched down the highways.

Brooks reiterated the call for arrests to be made when they return to the flagpole amid questions from the crowd about why police did not request camera footage from neighbors of the home where the incidents allegedly occurred.

“We’re just trying to understand once again why the police are taking so long to do their job,” Brooks said. “I’m still stuck on why no arrests have been made.”

Police say they have identified the minors involved in the incidents and are working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to examine electronic evidence from their cell phones. Police also say they have interviewed Lehrkamp and the minors involved and are following up on any leads that come through direct communication and social media.

Acting Police Chief O’Neal Jackson, who was on hand Saturday, urged the public Wednesday to be patient because the investigation takes time and has been hampered by misinformation spreading on social media.

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