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Charlotte girl makes tearful plea after fatal police shooting

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Zianna Oliphant

Peaceful protesters showed up in force Monday night at a Charlotte City Council meeting, but none of them stood out quite as much as little Zianna Oliphant.

In the wake of the shooting of the officer-involved shooting of Keith Scott, more than 50 angry residents expressed their frustration to Mayor Jennifer Roberts and City Council about what they called unaccountable police officers and civilian leaders who have failed to force change.

Dozens even demanded that Roberts and Police Department Chief Kerr Putney resign, according to WSOC.

Among the speakers were children who said they were too scared to leave their homes - including young Zianna.

MORE: Charlotte police released dashcam, bodycam video

"I've been born and raised in Charlotte. And I never felt this way until now and I can't stand how we're treated," the grade-school girl said, wiping away tears.

She expressed the hardship that children face when a parent dies. Scott himself, who was African-American, had seven children.

Roberts encouraged Zianna to speak her mind as other protesters cheered her on.

"It's a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed and we can't even see them anymore," Zianna said. "It's a shame that we have to go to the graveyard and bury them. And we have tears, and we shouldn't have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side."

MORE: Kindergarten boy, scared by unrest, gives free hugs to Charlotte cops

Zianna, as well as the protesters in the room who chanted "no justice, no peace" after she spoke, helped to underscore the degree to which communal wounds have been slow to heal in North Carolina's most populous city since the shooting.

Protests started on the streets of Charlotte after news of Scott's shooting broke last Tuesday and, occasionally, became violent as they continued deeper into the week.

The scene grew especially tense Wednesday night when police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Some people in the crowds threw bottles and rocks at officers and passing cars, blocked an interstate highway, surrounded and jumped on vehicles, looted businesses and stormed the entrance of a Hyatt hotel, injuring two of its employees.

ABC News and WTVD-TV contributed to this report.
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