Hundreds of people gathered throughout central North Carolina Tuesday night in response to the decision in Ferguson, Missouri to not indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
In Durham, dozens of protesters briefly stopped traffic on the northbound lanes of the Durham Freeway around 6:30 p.m. They were chanting slogans like “No Justice, No Peace" and "No Racist Police."
“We were just like shouting, clapping,” said local musician Alex Aff. “There was like a bunch of people playing drums, it’s like they had a whole band out there.”
The Durham police reported no arrests or injuries.
Aff and others later joined a much larger group in downtown Durham, where many of them were holding signs that read "We Are All Michael Brown."
Through music, painting and poetry, hundreds of demonstrators expressed frustration over the death of Brown. They called for police transparency and the need for communities to organize and unify.
“There are moments in every kind of page, or chapter or history where people are kind of forced to wake up and I think this is one of those moments,” said Josh Vincent, a member of a group called Black IS.
A smaller group of about 50 demonstrators gathered in Chapel Hill, where they marched to the Orange County Courthouse near UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.
“I came out here because I couldn’t sit in my house after the past 24 hours, which have been hard,” said Llogan Walters, a third-year law student at UNC Chapel-Hill.
Walters said she wants the people of Ferguson to know that they are not alone in their grief.
“It is good seeing people gathering here, but I’m more interested in seeing what they do,” she added.
In Raleigh, hundreds of people peacefully gathered in Moore Square to pray and share frustrations.
“People are outraged at the lack of justice,” said Ajamu Dillahunt, who helped organize the Raleigh demonstration. “They’re angry about this decision in particular, but feel it is representative of what’s happening around this country with the murders of unarmed black people.”
Demonstration organizers say they anticipate teach-ins, community events and more protests in the coming weeks.