A Young Girl In Charlotte Delivers A Tearful Speech About Race

"We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side."

The City of Charlotte is still in an emotional state after last week's fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Those emotions spilled over to Monday's city council meeting — the first since the shooting — where a young girl delivered the most impactful comments of the night.

Hundreds of Charlotte residents packed the city council meeting demanding the resignations of Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Police Chief Kerr Putney. They also asked for police to release the full video of the shooting.

More than 50 residents stepped up to the podium to address the council, including Zianna Oliphant — an African-American girl who bravely delivered a tearful plea.

"I feel like that we are treated differently than other people," Zianna said. "I don't like how we're treated and just because of our color ... doesn't mean anything to me."

Zianna, who said she was born and raised in Charlotte, spoke as tears streamed down her face.

"We are Black people and we shouldn't have to feel like this," she said to the council. "We shouldn't have to protest because y'all are treating us wrong. We do this because (we) need to."


It's sometimes common for children — specifically children of color  —to experience emotional grief after a police shooting. This race-based traumatic stress could disrupt child development and diminish the quality of emotional attachment in social relationships.

The audience at the council meeting cheered Zianna on as she spoke so emotionally.

"It's a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can't even see them anymore," she said. "It's a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears, we shouldn't have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side."

She received a standing ovation from the people at the council meeting.

On Twitter, users thanked Zianna for courageously shedding light on the impact of police shootings on children.

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