Aggies reflect on Charlotte shooting

Aggies+reflect+on+Charlotte+shooting

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By: Dante Miller

Aggies joined in solidarity at the reflection pool 10 p.m. Wednesday to demonstrate a peaceful protest after the tragic death of Keith Lamont Scott.

The protest started at the reflection pool and then hundreds of students traveled together singing songs and lifting their fists as they walked to the A&T four statues.

A number of universities, including North Carolina Central and University of North Carolina at Charlotte are also doing protest during this tragedy.

On Wednesday, students at UNCC had a peaceful protest.  Students during this time walked out of their rooms and classrooms to participate. The main focus during the protest was to demonstrate peace and safety.

Though A&T’s protest remained peaceful, events in Charlotte on Tuesday quickly turned from a peaceful protest to a riot. Looters damaged buildings and attempted to break into a Walmart. Both police and protesters were injured.

The North Carolina IGNITE members played a role in A&T’s protest last night. IGNITE is a state youth movement fighting for equality and justice. IGNITE has several Aggie members.

IGNITE member Delaney Vandergrift was part of the protest in Charlotte and assisted in leading A&T’s protest last night.  “When we [Charlotte protesters] were out at the protest, there was an eighteen wheeler in front of us. Because people don’t value Black lives they press the gas and we had to move as quickly as we could and people almost lost their lives. It was really heavy to deal with.”

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerr Putney, Scott was shot and killed by Officer Brentley Vinson after Scott refused to put down his gun when commanded to. Both the victim and the police officer are African American.

During this time, police were in search of a person who had an outstanding warrant at the Village at College Downs complex on Old Concord Road. Scott was not that person.

Despite the police report, many Aggies who attended the 10 p.m. protest at the N.C. A&T reflection pool, do not believe that Scott had a gun and some students believe that even with a gun his death was still unjust.

“North Carolina is a right-to-carry state. Even if he had a gun he still had the right to carry a gun,” said IGNITE member Vashti Henson. “The fact that they incriminate him, shoot at him, or assume that he is doing something illegal is wrong.”

Sophomore protestor Akilah Kafele said, “Even if he had a gun he shouldn’t have died because North Carolina is an open-carry state.”

According to the Washington Post, 164 African American males have been killed by police in 2016 and 62 officers have been identified in these cases. Eight African American males have been killed in North Carolina; three of those cases were in Charlotte.

Kafele said, “Hearing more people saying this really breaks my heart that my people are being killed out here for no reason.”

Throughout the A&T protest, students marched with their fists up and chanted “don’t shoot” in hopes of bring light into the seriousness of police brutality and injustice within the Black community.

A&T’s University Police Department was in attendance of both the march and demonstration at the reflection pool. Officer’s attended to insure safety among students.

Leaders and speakers from last night’s events urge students to gather 12:15 p.m. Monday, at the Governmental Plaza to continue protest.

Follow us on Twitter @theatregister for further updates. Tweet us using the hashtag #NCAT4CLT.