GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Mayor Knox White invited protesters and local activists inside City Hall Monday morning to discuss the events of the weekend.
“We’re gathering information, both statistics and conversations and still listening,”said city spokesperson Beth Brotherton.
Those conversations echoing the chants that rang through downtown Greenville less that 24 hours ago.
16-year-old Tateaonia Chandler shared her experiences with the mayor.
“It hurt, I couldn’t breathe,” said Chandler.
She said she was pepper sprayed, but that nothing would deter her from the message at hand.
“Me standing up here with my people to make a change is the only thing we need to do. We need to continue to come together as one to come together and be united to make a change,” said Chandler.
“When we see riot gear and helmets and tear gas and all this stuff it makes you afraid,” said Derrick Quarles with Black Lives Matter Upstate.
He said the group has specific demands of the city.
“Not only are they mad in Minnesota and LA and Charlotte, we’re mad, we’re angry right here in Greenville,” said Quarles.
This includes input on the hiring of a new police chief and a Citizens Review Board with subpoena power.
Activist Bruce Wilson agreed and said they won’t stop until steps are taken to end systematic racism.
“We’re not going to be marching just to be marching, and we’re not going to entertain parades. We are here for change and that’s what we are hoping to get,” said Wilson.
And although change might not be possible overnight, Greenville is hoping to set a standard.
“I hope that our city will be an example where peaceful protest has become productive conversation,” said Brotherton.
“We are here to make a change. We are here to set an example to those states that we can do this in a peaceful way,” said Chandler.