by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - People poured into Marshall Park Thursday night to show support for the community in Ferguson, Missouri. Although the violence isn’t near Charlotte, people told Channel 9 they feel connected to it.
They joined more than 90 other peaceful gatherings across the country.
In Charlotte, people held signs for 18-year-old Mike Brown.
“That could be my grandchild,” Pearl Macon said.
The shooting of the unarmed Ferguson teen was on the mind of many.
It prompted comparisons to Jonathan Ferrell, an unarmed man shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in Charlotte.
“Young black men are being targeted and shot for no reason,” Cookie Williams said.
But the way police have responded in the aftermath of the shooting is very different. Since Saturday, there have been violent protests in Ferguson. Police have responded with tear gas canisters and smoke bombs trying to control the crowds that only prompted more anger.
People in Charlotte wanted to show solidarity with the community in Ferguson, to let them know that they’re not alone.
“It's important for our voices to be heard,” Teyah Scales said. “All lives matter.”
Many Charlotte residents spoke about discrimination and police brutality.
“We feel a connection to the young black men that are being slaughtered,” Williams said. “All of us are connected to a young black man in some way.”
People said that they hope the nationwide gatherings unite communities against injustice.
“There are black people here. There are white people here,” Williams said. “It's not just a black thing. It's a community thing.”