Last week’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott unveiled the darker side of the charming southern town of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Several days of unrest exacerbated by the city’s lack of transparency in Scott’s shooting death brought forth emotional reactions during a Monday night city council meeting, according to Fox News.
Residents demanded the resignation of Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Police Chief Kerr Putney, who they say mishandled the public’s concerns in Scott’s shooting death investigation.
“It’s going to be rough in these streets until you give justice to our people,” said Rev. Milton Williams, who spoke during the three-hour meeting. “Our city’s in an uproar, and you did not respond.”
Zianna Oliphant, a young Charlotte girl, also spoke at the meeting and powerfully expressed anguish over racial inequality. With her braids pulled back and tears streaming down her face, she announced Monday, according to CBS News: “It’s a shame that our fathers and brothers are killed and we can’t see them anymore. It’s a shame that we have to go through that graveyard and bury him. We need our fathers and brothers to be by our side.”
Scott’s death is the second high-profile police-involved shooting centralized to the Charlotte community within the past three years. Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed Florida A&M football player, was fatally shot 10 times by Charlotte police in 2013.
Ferrell’s shooting, coupled with the recent deaths of young men and women at the hands of police in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Louisiana, and countless other states, reveals the stain of racism on the fabric of the nation.
Charlotte presents a dynamic of extreme wealth juxtaposed against extreme poverty, where residents feel ignored and displaced. The downtown area, a mix of high rise corporate buildings and affordable housing, highlights two separate experiences in the Queen City.
Jibril Hough, a local activist who organized peaceful protests after Ferrell’s shooting death, says it time to dispel the warm, welcoming aura Charlotte presents.
“When people come into town, they see nice, shiny buildings. But when it comes to working-class people, they don’t put pressure on these businesses to say what are you going to do for the working class,” Hough said.
Rev. William Barber, head of Charlotte’s NAACP chapter, told Fox News that Charlotte’s deficits weren’t created in a vacuum. Until community leaders resolve to work on the underlying issues, including racial inequality and economic freedom, these incidents will continue to happen.
“The type of riots we are seeing in Charlotte is a systemic response for people who are drowning in injustice,” he said.
43 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 1 of 46
2. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 2 of 46
3. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 3 of 46
4. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 4 of 46
5. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 5 of 46
6. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 6 of 46
7. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 7 of 46
8. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 8 of 46
9. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 9 of 46
10. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 10 of 46
11. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 11 of 46
12. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 12 of 46
13. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 13 of 46
14. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 14 of 46
15. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 15 of 46
16. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 16 of 46
17. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 17 of 46
18. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 18 of 46
19. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 19 of 46
20. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 20 of 46
21. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 21 of 46
22. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 22 of 46
23. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 23 of 46
24. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 24 of 46
25. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 25 of 46
26. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 26 of 46
27. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 27 of 46
28. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 28 of 46
29. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 29 of 46
30. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 30 of 46
31. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 31 of 46
32. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 32 of 46
33. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 33 of 46
34. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 34 of 46
35. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 35 of 46
36. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 36 of 46
37. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 37 of 46
38. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 38 of 46
39. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 39 of 46
40. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 40 of 46
41. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 41 of 46
42. Stephon Clark, 2242 of 46
43. Danny Ray Thomas, 3443 of 46
44. DeJuan Guillory, 2744 of 46
45. DeJuan Guillory, 2745 of 46
46. DeJuan Guillory, 2746 of 46
‘It’s A Shame Our Fathers And Brothers Are Killed:’ Girl Sobs At Charlotte Council Meeting was originally published on newsone.com