Charlotte Uprising holds prayer vigil for Charlottesville, blames police for white supremacy

Kristi O'Connor/WBTV
Kristi O'Connor/WBTV
Kristi O'Connor/WBTV
Kristi O'Connor/WBTV

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - One week after violence broke out in Charlottesville over a Confederate monument, the conversation over racism continues.

Hundreds of people gathered in Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte Saturday night for a prayer vigil and rally which was hosted by Charlotte Uprising.

The group gathered because of violence in Charlottesville, but also tied the conversation back to the issue that prompted them to start their group last year. Charlotte Uprising formed after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott, which led to days of rioting and protests in Charlotte.

On Saturday, the group started by praying for Heather Heyer, who was the woman killed in Charlottesville last weekend. They also prayed for the other victims hurt in the violence, but did not mention the two troopers who died while on duty during the unrest.

Following the vigil, several organizers of Charlotte Uprising addressed the crowd. Some talked about their experiences with racism and others talked about what they say white people should and should not do to improve race relations.

Many of the members also claimed that white supremacy is infiltrated in the police department.

"I think that one of the things that's important for us is understanding the relationship between policing in white supremacy,right," Ash Williams, who is a member of Charlotte Uprising, said. "So, we believe that police actually perpetuate white supremacy, white supremacy is the institution that allows policing to have power and control over people."

WBTV has covered numerous events following the riots of 2016, where CMPD has tried to form a better relationship with the community. We reached out to CMPD for a response, but have not heard back yet.

The group says their goal was to call people into action to dismantle white supremacy in Charlotte and across the United States.

CMPD officers were present at the rally. The rally remained peaceful and no one was arrested, police said.

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