Charlotte clergy, civil rights leaders issue demands following police shooting

Led by North Carolina NAACP President William Barber, a coalition of civil rights and clergy leaders announced a list of demands Monday in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

Led by North Carolina NAACP President William Barber, a coalition of civil rights and clergy leaders announced a list of demands Monday in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

The 13-point list of demands includes calling for a federal investigation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department; releasing all video footage of Scott’s shooting; national standardization of the use of force by police; a retrial of Randall Kerrick, the white police officer who shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell, a black man, in 2013; and making it a firing offense if a police officer fails to turn on – or turns off – a body camera during an arrest.

Barber also singled out Rep. Robert Pittenger, who in an interview last week said protesters hated white people. Pittenger later apologized.

“You’re wrong,” Barber said. “White people are marching, too. All people of conscience are upset.”

Barber’s demands did not include the resignations of Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and police Chief Kerr Putney. But just a few block away at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, angry residents shouted down the mayor and city council with chants of “Hands Down! Shoot Back!” and “No Justice, No Peace!”

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Roberts, who allowed people to speak for two hours, repeatedly had to stop the meeting, pleading for quiet. Sometimes the crowd quieted to allow people to speak. At other times, her requests were met with heckles and chants for justice.

The rally at Little Rock AME Zion Church included the Charlotte NAACP and the Charlotte Coalition for Justice. Speakers included people who said their loved ones were killed by police violence.

Barber opened the rally by asking the multiracial clergy group and young people under age 23 to stand together up front. Later, Barber said reporters had asked him if there’s a young-old divide in the nightly Charlotte protests launched last Tuesday after Scott’s shooting.

Barber said he tells reporters that that’s their storyline, and not the movement’s. Yet later, during a portion of the rally that included other clergy making remarks, a young speaker moved on stage and tried to speak.

“Not tonight, brother,” Barber said, as others moved the man off the stage.

The hour-and-a-half rally ended with attendees marching to Marshall Park.

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