Dozens gather for Charlotte rally in response to Stephon Clark’s death

Dozens gather for Charlotte rally in response to Stephon Clark’s death
Published: Mar. 30, 2018 at 3:54 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2018 at 4:58 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A small crowd gathered in Marshall Park Thursday evening to mourn the loss of a young man who was shot and killed by police in California.

Stephon Clark was shot and killed in the backyard of his grandmother's Sacramento home after officers reportedly thought he was pointing a gun at them. It turns out Clark only had a cellphone.

The Charlotte group wanted to send the message that they felt Clark's death was unjustified.

"I cannot stand to see another unarmed black man killed," Kass Ottley, of the Seeking Justice Consortium, said.

Ottley organized the rally. She said she was thankful for the people that did show up to the event but wished that a larger crowd was present.

"The same way March for Our Lives was filled, we're marching for black and brown lives. This park should have been filled with people appalled," said Ottley.

Many people in the crowd held signs and chanted together at times. The death of Stephon Clark reminds Charlotte residents of the lives lost in local police shootings.

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"I've been out in this park far too many times. I've made too many signs. We've marched too many. We had Charlotte Uprising. We had Keith Lamont Scott," said Ottley.

Ottley is encouraging others to push for social change in Charlotte. She spoke about the need for accountability from the police and government officials.

Dave Walsh, a white Charlotte resident, said he attended the rally because he thought it was important for all people to recognize the violent incidents that have taken place between people of color and the police.

"I don't have a simple answer. I think the first thing people have to recognize is that it's not right to kill unarmed people," said Walsh.

The rally remained peaceful and lasted a little over an hour.

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