About 100 protesters gathered peacefully Saturday night in front of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters to raise concerns about recent fatal officer-involved shootings of African-American men elsewhere in the country.
Organizers who promoted the protest on social media described it as a “Black on Black Love Rally.”
As one organizer put it, she wanted to start a community dialogue and combat the narrative of black-on-black crime that has sometimes occurred after officer-involved shootings of African-Americans.
The event started with a handful of women standing in a circle outside of the headquarters building in uptown Charlotte.
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Soon, the rally swelled to about 100 people.
One woman carried a sign with the name of her son, Shamir Terrel Palmer, who she said was fatally shot by police officers in Summerville, S.C. They marched up Trade Street to the Epicentre, according to a report from WCCB TV.
CMPD Major Gerald Smith spoke with protesters before the march began.
He said he asked that they stay on the sidewalk and do something to mark the end of the protest, such as a prayer. Due to concern about the events in Dallas, Smith said police would be monitoring elevated areas, such as parking decks.
“It’s great, it’s their First Amendment right,” he said. “We are here for the safety of them and we are here for the safety of everyone uptown.”
Rachel Herzog: (704) 358-5358; @rachel_herzog