From the mouths of babes: Young Charlotte, N.C., girl decries recent police shootings

CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte is still seething one week after a police officer shot and killed a black man, Keith Scott.

At a city council meeting Monday night, dozens of people expressed their anger with authorities, demanding the city’s mayor and police chief step down.

“Mayor Roberts, you need to resign! Chief Kerr Putney, you need to resign,” one woman said.

“Every morning when I wake up I am scared that I won’t grow to be a black man,” said a little boy.

But the most moving testimony came from the youngest voices in the room, 9-year old Zianna Oliphant.

“It’s a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can’t even see them anymore. It’s a shame we have to go to their graveyard,” Oliphant said at the meeting through tears.

In an interview with CBS News, Oliphant explained why people in Charlotte are protesting.

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Zianna Oliphant

CBS News

“All we want is our equal rights and be treated like other people,” she said.

It has been a week since the shooting, and despite the release of several pieces of video -- including a police dashcam and body camera -- questions still linger.

Police say there is additional footage but none of it shows the shooting because the officers involved are part of a tactical unit and aren’t required to wear cameras.  

Major Steve Willis said that’s for safety reasons.

“To divulge that equipment, those tactics, the training publicly could seriously put those officers at risk,” Willis said.

Willis said hearing the fears of Charlotte’s youngest citizens was heartbreaking.

“I would never want anyone to feel that way about me, personally, I don’t like that they feel that way about my profession,” he said.

Oliphant says racial healing requires self -reflection.

“If someone talks about my skin … I say just look in the mirror at yourself before you talk about my skin,” she said.