9-year-old gives heartbreaking speech in Charlotte: ‘I feel like we are treated differently…just because of our colour’

Zianna Oliphant Charlotte
9-year-old Zianna Oliphant speaks out at a Charlotte City Council meeting on Monday. The Washington Post/ Screenshot

The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, was rocked by riots last week after a video emerged showing Charlotte police fatally shooting a 43-year-old black man, Keith Lamont Scott.

And to one little girl, enough is enough. 

9-year-old Zianna Oliphant took the podium at a contentious city council meeting on Monday, six days after Scott was fatally shot.

“I’ve come here today to talk about how I feel, and I feel like we are treated differently than other people,” Oliphant said. “I don’t like how we’re treated. Just because of our colour — doesn’t mean anything to me.”

Oliphant, holding back tears, was encouraged by audience members to continue speaking. 

“We are black people and we shouldn’t have to feel like this,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to protest because y’all are treating us wrong.”

Oliphant said that she was “born and raised in Charlotte” and that she’s never felt this way until now.

“We do this because we need to, and to have rights,” she said. “And I can’t stand how we’re treated. It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can’t even see them anymore.”

Charlotte protests
Police officers face off with protesters on the I-85 (Interstate 85) during protests in the early hours of September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

“And we have tears, and we shouldn’t have tears,” Oliphant said. “We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side.”

Charlotte police released the video footage of Scott’s fatal shooting on Saturday, after tensions grew between protestors and city authorities. 

In a press conference on Saturday, Charlotte police chief Kerr Putney said that the video doesn’t explicitly show Scott pointing a gun at officers when he was fatally shot, reports Business Insider’s Michelle Mark

Watch Oliphant’s full speech below:

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