Protests were held at historically black colleges and universities across the state following the killing of Keith Scott, an African-American man, by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Tuesday.
The protests were organized by the student group Black University and drew hundreds of students and faculty from seven campuses — North Carolina A&T State University, Bennett College, North Carolina Central University, Elizabeth City State University, Winston-Salem State University, Shaw University and Fayetteville State University.
Organizers said in a statement they were protesting systemic police shootings of black men across America, not just in Charlotte.
Delaney Vandergrift, a student organizer at N.C. A&T, said the protests were intended to shed light on a problem that has become an epidemic.
“This is a response to the war on black America and that’s why we did it,” she said. “It wasn’t just about Charlotte.”
Over 1,000 students and faculty attended the protest at N.C. A&T — including most of the political science department, whose members showed up together at 10 p.m. to join the rally, Vandergrift said.
“People came out just to be able to look at someone who looks like them and say ‘I love you, and I see you, and we’re in this together, and we’re all scared but we’re going to fight through this,’” she said.
HBCUs play an important role in the Black Lives Matter movement, said Ajamu Dillahunt, a student organizer at NCCU.