CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Large groups of protesters gathered in downtown Charleston on Sunday evening calling for an end to law enforcement brutality and justice for those killed while in police custody.
It comes following the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo – Wright was fatally shot by officer Kimberly Potter during a traffic stop and attempted arrest for an outstanding warrant in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11th, and Toledo was shot and killed by Chicago police officer Eric Stillman on March 29th.
A spokesman for the Charleston Police Department told News 2 no permits were given for Sunday’s protests – still, dozens gathered in Marion Square and marched to the U.S. Custom House and near the Market with Black Lives Matter signs and chants for an end to violence.
The protest was organized by ‘Stand As One’ – who describe themselves as a “group of community leaders and activists dedicated to activism for equal rights of all individuals.”
“Let’s not confuse the narrative, again we protested today with over 100 people,” said Justin Hunt, President of Stand As One. “No one got hurt, no one got assaulted. That’s not our goal. Our goal is to express ourselves and our goal is to express how we feel peacefully.”
In a statement, Charleston PD said: “CPD strives to protect the First Amendment rights of our citizens and will work to ensure that all demonstrations remain peaceful and safe for all,” the department said in a statement. “The Charleston Police Department will continue to partner with our citizens and community leaders to do all we can, collectively, to be a positive asset in service to our residents and keep our community safe and the wonderful place we all call our home.”
Protesters later came face-to-face with police in riot gear on King Street just after 7:30 p.m. where they were told they were not allowed to demonstrate.
Once back at Marion Square, protesters used candles in vigil for Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo around 8:30 p.m., and the crowds began to disperse shortly after that.
While there were some confrontations, there was no violence during Sunday’s protests. Things remained mostly peaceful.