Seven towns in North Carolina have joined the small community of Elizabeth City in northeastern North Carolina, more than a month after lawmakers gunned down Andrew Brown, Junior.
ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Weeks of protests in Elizabeth City swept across the state of North Carolina on Tuesday evening.
“After awhile you walk and preach and protest for so long, over 30 days ago, and how do you keep moving forward without being angry,” Rev. Javan Leach told 13News Now Tuesday, the pastor of Mt. Lebanon AME Church of Sion near the city center of the city.
From the coast of North Carolina to major metropolitan areas, seven cities joined Elizabeth City in their quest for justice after deputies from the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office shot dead Andrew Brown Jr. in April.
Religious leaders staged protests in the cities of Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Wilmington, adding to another night’s march in Elizabeth City.
“For more than 40 nights since Andrew Brown Jr. was killed by police, they have demonstrated not peacefully but non-violently in the streets of Elizabeth City,” Charlotte religious leader Steve Knight told WCNC ahead of the evening’s protests.
Since MPs shot Brown Jr., District Attorney Andrew Womble told reporters in May that the use of force in the case would be considered “justified.” No charges have yet been filed in the case, and MPs involved in the sheriff’s office are reportedly keeping their jobs with the agency.
For community leaders on the ground where Brown Jr. was shot like Reverend Leach, they hope the first of the larger-scale unified protests will trigger the change they’ve been seeking.
“Inspiring, it makes you stand up and say, ‘If other people in Charlotte have to get up,’ I have to get up. I may be discouraged or tired, but I have to get up.