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From Belmont To Ballantyne To Uptown Charlotte, Protesters March For A 10th Day

Updated 11:50 p.m.

Sunday marked the 10th day people have marched the streets of their towns and neighborhoods around Charlotte to protest racial injustice and police violence against people of color. 

Belmont Police Chief Chad Hawkins, right, joins the march. 6/7/20
Credit Ann Doss Helms / WFAE
Belmont Police Chief Chad Hawkins, right, joins the march.

In the town of Belmont in Gaston County, more than 100 people gathered outside the police department for a justice march Sunday afternoon. 

Belmont Police Chief Chad Hawkins turned out in shorts and a polo shirt to welcome the group and walk with them through downtown. He said the tragedy in Minneapolis is an opportunity to keep building relationships. 

"We did not start these conversations at the Belmont Police Department a week and a half ago. We started these conversations years ago. We started the training years ago to ensure that things like this does not happen," Hawkins said. 

Later in the afternoon over in the southeast Charlotte neighborhood of Ballantyne, about 300 people came together in front of the Ballantyne Hotel. The group marched along Ballantyne Commons Parkway chanting "silence equals violence," "black lives matter," and the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

With night approaching, demonstrators gathered in Charlotte's Marshall Park in uptown. It was a relaxed atmosphere with music playing and people signing a banner for George Floyd. 

In Marshall Park Sunday night, people sign a banner with messages to honor George Floyd. 6/7/20
Credit Michael Falero / WFAE
In Marshall Park Sunday night, people sign a banner with messages to honor George Floyd.

Kass Ottley, one of the organizers of the event in Marshall Park, said this is a chance for protesters to kick back, relax and unwind. 

Later in the night as the crowd grew smaller, an altercation with CMPD occurred. In a tweet, CMPD said protesters began shoving an officer who was walking with them on Fourth Street. Other officers responded and removed the officer from the area. Police say that pepper spray was used. Two people were arrested and one officer was injured. 

Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.
Michael Falero is a radio reporter, currently covering voting and the 2020 election. He previously covered environment and energy for WFAE. Before joining WFAE in 2019, Michael worked as a producer for a number of local news podcasts based in Charlotte and Boston. He's a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop intensive on Cape Cod and UNC Chapel Hill.
Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.