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Man completes 1,000-mile trek from Alabama to Minnesota for racial equality

An Alabama man has finished a 1,000-mile trek from his state to Minnesota as part of a march for racial equality following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans.

Terry Willis, a 35-year-old business owner from Huntsville, finished the long walk on Sunday at the location where Floyd died in Minneapolis in late May, according to NPR News.

Willis said in a statement that he was "marching for change, justice and equality" and added that he embarked on the journey to do his "part by joining the fight for my brothers and sisters across this country starting with George."

As a Black man and father raising a Black son, Willis said the recent police killings of Floyd and Taylor and the case of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man who was gunned down while jogging in Georgia earlier this year, made him feel "a plethora of mixed emotions: angry, frustrated, confused, sad." 

"This could've been me, my family or friends. I knew I had to do something," he continued.

When announcing his plans for the 1,000-mile long trek at the start of June, Willis said he was inspired to start the effort by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Selma to Montgomery march.

Willis said then that Dr. King completed that march in 1965 "for us to have the right to vote," and added: "In 2020, I, Terry Willis, will walk from Alabama to Minnesota for our right to be seen as equals. 1000+miles."

During his walk, Willis shared photos and footage from stops he made during the journey, including to cities in Kentucky and Missouri to honor Taylor and Michael Brown, according to NPR News. He also shared a photo of his recent stop in Houston, where Floyd was born.

In livestream videos taken at different points in his walk, others could also be seen joining him at times.

His effort follows weeks of protests against racism and police treatment of people of color in the nation sparked by the police killing of Floyd.

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