'We need to turn anger into action': Hampton NAACP hosts justice rally and voter registration drive

Posted at 10:45 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 23:35:53-04

HAMPTON, Va. - What may look like a block party is actually a youth and community rally for justice hosted by the Hampton Branch of the NAACP.

“We are doing this for you. We want to hear from you,” said chapter President Gaylene Kanoyton.

Young adults like Zuri Turner are sharing their concerns about growing up black in 2020.

“Am I going to be okay when I walk outside my house? Am I going to live past 18?” he asks.

Turner just graduated from Bethel High School and made it a priority to register to vote along with others at Wednesday's registration drive.

“Civic engagement needs to start as early as possible,” said Kanyoton.

The rally outside Bethel AME Church in Hampton is supposed to be a safe space to protest police brutality in the African American community.

“We have some people in the community that don’t feel comfortable marching,” Kanyoton adds.

People brought their lawn chairs, kids and signs asking for justice.

“We need to make sure that we hold our police force and our elected officials accountable,” she adds.

Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult was at the event. He condemned the killing of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

“It is just horrific! That is not what police officers do,” said Chief Sult.

Congressman Bobby Scott says the changes the community wants to see are political decisions.

“Whether or not someone gets charged is a function of the... in Virginia, the Commonwealth's attorney,” said Congressman Scott.

He says your vote can also help prevent what happened to Floyd in Minneapolis.

“We want to reduce the chances that something like that can happen on the Peninsula, and we want to make sure that if it happens, the right response will take place,” he adds.

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