Protesters took to the streets of Charlotte over the weekend after the Memphis Police Department released footage on Friday of five police officers brutally beating 29-year-old Tyre Nichols on Jan. 7. He died in the hospital three days later.
More than 75 people gathered in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse on Saturday afternoon for a protest organized by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP. Following speeches from organizers such as NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg president Corinne Mack and fellow organizer Kass Ottley of Seeking Justice CLT, protesters marched through Second Ward in Uptown to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters, where more protesters addressed the crowd.
“We have to work together to change the system. We have to,” Ottley said. “I don’t care if we don’t like each other, I don’t care if we have small differences, I don’t care. At this point, this is what we need to focus on because I don’t want to see another video.”
Local organizer Tina Marshall said she couldn’t even watch the video upon its release on the previous night.
“The first thing I thought of when I saw the news was I thought of his mother and I thought of all the other mothers who have lost sons,” she told the crowd. “I don’t know how anyone can think this is OK and it not haunt you. Things have gotten worse since George Floyd and I don’t know what’s going on. The system needs to be dismantled because it is corrupt, it is violent and it kills.”
A smaller number of protesters gathered again on Sunday night and marched through the streets of Uptown, shutting down traffic for short periods of time, doing chants and giving speeches.
Queen City Nerve photographers Grant Baldwin and Peter Zay were at the protests taking photos, which we have shared below.
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