At an emotionally-charged Charlotte City Council meeting, 9-year-old Zianna Oliphant stood before the packed space to express her heartbreak in the wake of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Charlotte police officers. The video of her speech, shown above, will bring you to tears.
Zianna started her speech by saying, "I've come here today to talk about how I feel, and I feel like that we are treated differently than other people." She added, "I don't like how we're treated. Just because of our color — [that] doesn't mean anything to me." It was at this point that Zianna had to stop as she broke into tears.
She then continued by conveying the frustration and hopelessness she feels as a result of the ongoing police shootings of unarmed black men and women. She said, "I've been born and raised in Charlotte and I've never felt this way until now. I can't stand how we're treated." Zianna ended her speech with this powerful statement: "It's a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can't even see them anymore . . . We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side."
Since the speech, Zianna's mother spoke with the NBC News and said her children are in a police youth league and have always looked up to officers, thereby making the news of the shooting even more difficult for Zianna to grapple with.