Charlotte girl, 9, tackles racism in tearful speech before city council

CHARLOTTE, NC (KTRK) -- A nine-year-old girl's passionate message to Charlotte's city council about race and civil rights is gripping the nation.

Zianna Oliphant is now speaking out about the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, and why she feels it was important to face adults about her concerns.

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A small girl broke down while addressing the Charlotte city council

Little Zianna says she wanted to talk to Mayor Jennifer Roberts after seeing and hearing about Scott's death at the hands of police, WSOC-TV reports.

As adults shouted in anger, she stood before the microphone when it was her turn.

"That's important to me, and I just wanted her to know how I feel about what's going on in the world," Zianna said. "I felt sad. There wasn't any reason for them to do anything to him."

Zianna and her mother, Precious Oliphant, say their message is not one of anger toward police officers. The nine-year-old is close to police as a cheerleader in a football league coached by CMPD officers.

These officers, Zianna says, are lifting young people up, teaching them discipline, hard work and dedication.

A conversation about police shootings, however, is something we need to address, the girl adds.

Precious Oliphant says she was inspired by her daughter's desire to speak before city council, and that it was important for city leaders to see how children are being affected by the shooting.
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