Shooting by cops shows racial disparities, protesters say

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 11:13 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Protesters gathered in front of the federal courthouse Thursday, demanding justice for Robert Wright.

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent and U.S. marshal fired shots that killed Wright on April 7 after a high-speed chase on Charleston Highway in Aiken County.

After a shoot-out ended with 42-year-old suspect Nate Meade alive Wednesday’s, community members are claiming there are disparities in how cases are handled depending on your skin color.

We went to the protest and talked to community members about what they want to see changed.

“We going to make some noise and hoping we get the right attention,” said Ray Montana, protest organizer.

Less than eight hours after Meade was taken into custody with five gunshot wounds, Montana called for a protest on Facebook.

“There was no body to be picked up. The young man lived to tell his story. We want justice. Not just for Robert Wright, but for all of the slain killings that have been going on all this week, all this year,” he said.

Wright’s godsister, Sonjia Burns, says she’s had enough.

“That was my godbrother. I met him probably when he was 5 years old, and gun violence just bothers my soul. I’m hurt,” she said.

The frustration boiled over into a two-hour protest around downtown Augusta.

They even make stops at the municipal building and the sheriff’s headquarters.

At times, the protest stopped traffic and intersections, but Montana says it’s not enough.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is still investigating the officer-involved shooting of Wright. Protesters were also chanting that Wright was shot 38 times. We reached out to the Aiken County corner to confirm but have not heard back.

“I’m motivated, I’m glad for the turnout, I wish there was more,” he said.

He’s hoping along with answers for Wright, something will change the movement of Augusta’s recent violence.

“We need justice, we need to stop the violence, and we need to come together collectively and make this effort and make this happen,” said Montanna.

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