HIGH POINT, N.C. – Hundreds of marchers celebrated the Derek Chauvin conviction but said more needs to be done in the Piedmont Triad.
“No justice, no peace” was one of the chants heard along University Parkway.
Thousands have chanted it during protests across the U.S. since former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck. The chants were repeated for the One Nation For Justice March in the streets of High Point on Sunday.
In the second annual event, marchers demanded the same accountability for other officers accused of taking people’s lives. Most recently Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Fred Cox in High Point.
“The pain is just like you’ve ripped somebody’s heart out and ate it,” said Sarah Coleman, who lost her child to gun violence in 2000.
The steps she took Sunday were in support of Fred Cox’s mother Tenicka Shannon who lost her only son nearly six months ago.
“I still go home at night not knowing what happened to my child,” said Tenicka Shannon, mother of Fred Cox. “So that dark cloud is still there.”
A plain-clothed Davidson County deputy shot and killed 18-year-old Cox in November 2020. Cox was at Living Water Baptist Church for a funeral. Investigators said cars drove by and people started shooting at the crowd outside the church. The Cox family attorney told FOX8 that Cox was rushing people to safety when he was shot.
“A lot of things are going on across the country which High Point is not immune to,” said High Point Interim Police Chief Travis Stroud.
He joined the marchers in a pledge against police brutality. Stroud told FOX8 officers must follow law, policy, training and common sense when interacting with the public.
“A lot of the things that are being demanded of police reform are already in place here,” he said. “No choke holds, no-knock search orders, we don’t do those. We have the duty to intervene already in our use of force policy.”
Stroud said the department plans to announce changes over the next six months in response to the recent events. It’ll include a community collaboration board to provide feedback on police policy and more body-worn cameras for officers.
Those are changes the crowd wants to see in law enforcement agencies so parents don’t to bury their child because of an officer-involved shooting.
“I think all of us parents should stick together,” Coleman said. “So that we can help each other build each other up because this is a sorrow that’s never going to go away.”
The march gave Shannon hope and a feeling of healing.
“Even when I can’t support myself they’re still behind me 100 percent,” she said. “I can’t do it alone again.”