Dozens of protesters with drums and mock coffins took to uptown Charlotte streets Tuesday night in a march that ended without incident.
“We won tonight,” said an organizer of Charlotte Uprising, a coalition of activist groups that came together in the days after Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer on Sept. 20.
Tuesday marked two weeks since Scott was shot outside his northeast Charlotte apartment, after police who had come to serve a warrant on someone else said they had spotted him with a gun and marijuana.
The group called their rally “No More Strange Fruit,” a reference to a famous song about lynching and racism. On its Facebook page, the group urged people to come from around North Carolina to “demand an end to the war on Black lives and Black communities.”
Organizers said people in cities across America were holding Charlotte solidarity rallies at the same time.
Protesters carried two coffins and set up candlelight altars to remember Scott and Justin Carr, who was fatally shot during a protest that turned violent on Sept. 21.
Police charged 21-year-old Rayquan Borum with murder in Carr’s death, and a prosecutor said in court that Borum has admitted to the shooting. But the Uprising group contends that police shot Carr and framed Borum. Tuesday’s rally included a table for people to write letters to Borum.
Unlike larger protests that took place in the days immediately after Scott’s death, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police neither blocked streets for protesters nor turned out in riot gear. Officers on bicycles initially told marchers they’d be arrested if they stayed in the streets, then formed a wedge to herd the group onto a sidewalk.
The group chanted and held silent rememberance outside the police department, then returned to Marshall Park, where the gathering started, to chant and drum in the dark.