Rally held for Elijah Weatherspoon, activists call for more answers

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Sunday, community members held a rally in downtown Charleston for a young man who authorities say drowned in the Cooper River in late June.

“He was a kid just like I am, he had a future, he deserved a future,” Co-organizer Elijah Whiteside said. “Countless other black kings and queens he’s gone too soon and his family deserves justice. We’ve had plenty of conversations with his mother and she’s really seeking justice for her son.”

The 18-year-old's body was found on a sandbar near Sullivan's Island just days after going missing off a boat in the cooper river.

The initial autopsy from the Charleston County Sheriff's office revealed Weatherspoon drowned.

But questions still remain. Weatherspoon’s family says they are launching their own investigation into his death.Community activists say they’re now demanding more answers about how he died.

“They’re just trying to treat it like it is just another black man drowning,” Whiteside said. “And sure, the cause of death may be drowning but I’m sure there’s more to the story and that’s what we’re keeping pressure on the investigation for just to learn the full story.”

During the rally, Roshele Robinson, a former teacher for Weatherspoon said she wanted to share her pride in him finishing high school, but grief that he'll never hold his diploma.

"It makes me emotional because I knew that he was, he was planning to attend a graduation," Robinson said. "We had a place for him, even the sign with his name on it is still there."

Following his autopsy, lawyers for Weatherspoon's family released a statement saying they hope the public and anyone involved to fully cooperate with agencies investigating his death.

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