A crowd of about 300 people gathered Sunday afternoon for a march to the home of Andrew Brown, the man killed April 21 by deputies trying to serve a felony search warrant.
The group collected in Waterfront Park across the street from the Museum of the Albemarle, where his body lie for a public viewing.
Early in the afternoon, music played over a loudspeaker. The crowd repeated chants, such as “Say his name,” answered by “Andrew Brown.” They carried large “Black Lives Matter” flags and wore T-shirts with a variety of slogans calling for justice.
Members of the Justice 4 the Next Generation handed out lists they called a “protocol,” emphasizing peace. No guns, no knives and no destruction of property, they read.
“Use your voice as the weapon,” it said.
The group is a coalition of organizations against racial inequality formed in Greensboro. It was founded nine years ago by Rev. Gregory Drumwright, who was at the park Sunday.
A few people spoke from a stage at the Waterfront Park gazebo just before the march began, including family members and Drumwright. He told the crowd to avoid destruction, or even engaging the police.
“We know there are other infiltrators out there that want to disrupt,” he said.
He called for body-cam videos of the deputies who shot Brown to be released to the public and for justice for the next generation.
Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the North Carolina NAACP, condemned the shooting and said a brief prayer for justice, for the family and for those participating in the march. He also called for a peaceful demonstration.
At 2:45, the group gathered on Water Street and began marching down Shepard Street to Brown’s home. They later continued the march downtown.
Brown was dressed in a dark suit and tie with red roses at each end of his casket. About 30 people initially stood in line to see him. It was expected the group would return to view the body at the museum from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Willie Rucker was there with his family to view him and pay respects to Brown and his family.
“He was a gentle guy,” Rucker said. “Hopefully we can work this thing out between us and the police.”
Late in the afternoon, marchers made their way to the Public Safety building on Colonial Avenue, where more speeches were delivered.
A funeral will be held at noon Monday at the Fountain of Life church on U.S. 17. Al Sharpton is expected to speak.
Jeff Hampton, 757-446-2090, firstname.lastname@example.org