Watch 9-year-old Zianna Oliphant plead with Charlotte City Council to end police violence

Source: Mashable
Source: Mashable

Zianna Oliphant took the floor during a Charlotte, North Carolina, City Council meeting Monday and gave a heartbreaking testimony about police brutality and race relations, according to multiple reports.

"I've come here today to talk about how I feel," Oliphant said. "I feel like that we are treated differently than other people."

As tears streamed down her face, the 9-year-old pleaded with officials to end the policies and practices that resulted in the police shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott on Sept. 20. Scott's death sparked days of protests in the city.

"We are black people, and we shouldn't have to feel like this," Oliphant said. "We shouldn't have to protest because y'all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights."

Zianne Oliphant
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

Oliphant talked about what it's like being a young black girl in Charlotte against the backdrop of recent police violence there.

"I've been born and raised in Charlotte, and I never felt this way until now," she said. "And I can't stand how we're treated."

It's been over a week now since Scott, who is black, was shot and killed by Charlotte police officers. Officials have repeatedly used Scott allegedly having a gun as justification for killing him — even though North Carolina is an open carry state. 

Rakeyia Scott — Keith Scott's wife — filmed the encounter and released the footage to the New York Times. Charlotte police later released dashboard camera footage of the incident.

Zianne Oliphant
Source: 
Mic/YouTube

In the video, Rakeyia can be heard telling officers Scott did not have a weapon, suffered a traumatic brain injury and was harmless. Seconds later, police are heard shouting that Scott has a gun, before firing multiple shots at him.

Scott was reportedly reading the Qu'ran in his car while waiting for his son to get back home from school. Police were pursuing another suspect and came across the 43-year-old by chance. Scott was dead before his son's school bus arrived.

"It's a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can't even see them anymore," Zianna Oliphant told the city council. "It's a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. We have tears, and we shouldn't have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side."

You can watch the video here:

Source: YouTube

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Sarah A. Harvard

Sarah is a staff writer covering religion, race and politics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Slate, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, and VICE. Send tips and feedback: sharvard@mic.com

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