by: Alexa Ashwell Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Members of North Carolina’s Greek fraternity community traveled to Charlotte Wednesday evening to participate in a rally against domestic violence.
The rally came in the wake of Bianca Tanner’s death and the arrest of her boyfriend Angelo Smith, who is a member of the Greek fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.
Investigators labeled the case a domestic violence homicide.
Channel 9 was in court Monday when Smith appeared for the first time on charges he murdered Tanner and then hid her body.
“One person in one Greek shirt doesn’t define the Greek community,” said Marcus Bass, who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. “But, we still need to take ownership in the effort to raise awareness against domestic violence.”
Tanner’s sister was one of many people who spoke during the rally.
Cerise Richardson first talked about Bianca as a person and thanked the community for their prayers and support.
Richardson discussed the issue of domestic violence and the importance of speaking up when and if you notice any signs of abuse. Something she told the crowd she wished she would have done.
“That is the one thing I regret today,” said Richardson. “I met her boyfriend on numerous occasions. I had my reservations but I never said anything to her.”
A large portion of those in attendance traveled from North Carolina State A&T University in Greensboro where Smith and Tanner attended college but were not dating at the time.
“I didn’t know Bianca but she is still my sister,” said Alexis Cash who is currently a student at NC A&T. “Everyone on campus is saying they didn’t see this coming.”
Organizers ended the rally by lighting a candle, saying a prayer, singing a song and releasing balloons in honor of Tanner. They also made a promise to not let her death be in vain.
“We need to stand up in the fight against domestic violence in memory of Bianca,” said Richardson. “You have a voice. We need to speak up.”
Smith remains in jail until his next court appearance.
The Domestic Violence Advocacy Council is also hosting a domestic-violence rally in honor of Tanner.
It will be on The Square at Trade and Tryon streets at 12:15 p.m. Thursday in uptown Charlotte.
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