We, the undersigned, demand the immediate release of Gloria Merriweather and all political protesters who have been arrested in connection to the Charlotte Uprising. We demand that all charges brought against Gloria and all political protesters be dropped. And we demand an immediate end to the repression of organizers, community members, and all who have taken action demanding justice for Keith Scott, Justin Carr, Rayquan Borum, and all other individuals murdered and targeted by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.
CMPD killed 43 year-old Keith Scott on September 20th. Less than 48 hours later demonstrator Justin Carr was shot and killed by CMPD. In 2015, CMPD was among 14 police departments in the country that only murdered Black people. By the end of the first week, CMPD had framed up Rayquan Borum, a 21 year-old Black man for the murder of Justin.
This Thursday marks one month since Keith was murdered by CMPD in the parking lot of his apartment complex, since then over 120 people have been arrested. We will not rest until we receive answers for Keith's murder. We will continue to defend the righteous action the Charlotte community and communities across the country take to stop the killing of Black lives. We will not rest until the system of policing, of incarcerating, and of murdering Black people is no more.
The CMPD and City of Charlotte's attempts to pin trumped up charges on our people, to vilify the demonstrators, and to sweep the truth under the rug is a struggle that indicts the entire system for its disregard of Black life. This level of repression also represents the tension we are forcing the powers that be to address and contend with now. This is the real aftermath of an Uprising: repression, targeted attacks, and covert campaigns to take out our organizers. While much of the corporate media attention has been focused on broken windows and antagonism towards the police, the truth is that CMPD have continued to enact violence against organizers and demonstrators on and off the streets.
Demonstrators have been surveilled via their social media and arrested while leaving their taxis and spending time with friends at the park. All of the demonstrators have received trumped up charges and many received unreasonably high bail – all with the intent to discourage people from returning to the streets and organizing for Keith Scott, Justin Carr, and now Rayquan Borum.
During the most recent presidential debate, the contenders proclaimed that the U.S. does not have political prisoners but it is happening right here in Charlotte. The city is putting people in jail for doing what needs to be done to bring attention to police brutality and corruption. We will continue to lift up the demands of the Charlotte Uprising which include dropping all of the charges for those arrested in connection to the Uprising.
Now is a time to pick a side. We want to know from our elected officials, from decision makers, and all figures who imply solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement to publicly pick a side. Free Gloria Merriweather, Rayquan Borum, and all political prisoners who have been taken by CMPD.
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