Zianna Oliphant Speaks Out Against Charlotte’s Racial Profiling History: “We Are Black People And We Shouldn’t Have To Feel Like This”
Tensions are high in Charlotte, North Carolina, after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, 43. Upon hearing about his death, many Charlotte civilians took to the streets to protest and confront City officials for their lack of response to his death. And while for many this may seem like a numbing repeat of Ferguson, Baton Rouge or New York City, it isn’t for Black children who’ve grown accustomed to hearing about these deaths.
Charlotte’s own Zianna Oliphant delivered a tear-jerking message at the Charlotte City Council meeting today. As tears rolled down the young girl’s face, she exclaimed, “It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t see them anymore. It’s a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears. We shouldn’t have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.”
Afterward Zianna’s words, Charlotte residents heavily criticized their Mayor, Jennifer Roberts, and the city’s police department for how they’ve responded to the death of Scott and another man who was killed during a riot, CNN reports. Since the weekend, both protests and riots have diminished after the Charlotte police department released the body and dashboard camera footage of Scott’s death.
Despite the video releases, residents still heckled Mayor Roberts and even asked her to step down from her position. Mayor Roberts promised the investigation into Scott’s death will be transparent, even encouraging community dialogue on Scott’s case, race and police brutality to be ongoing. Not taking Mayor Roberts “love and light” bait, residents still shared how frustrated they’ve been with the rampant racial profiling conducted by law enforcement.
“I’ve been born and raised in Charlotte. And I never felt this way til now and I can’t stand how we’re treated,” Zianna stated. “We are Black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights.”
Watch Zianna’s moving speech here.