CHARLOTTE, North Carolina Raven Solomon was marching against police brutality here on Thursday, but the words on her sign came from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Both cities have seen local shootings by police gain nationwide attention in the past week.
In Charlotte, officer Brentley Vinson fatally shot a black man named Keith Scott on Tuesday. Protests have followed ever since.
In Tulsa, officer Betty Shelby was charged with manslaughter on Thursday after she fatally shot a black man named Terence Crutcher on Sept. 16 as he stood alongside his vehicle. The fatal shooting came moments after an officer in a helicopter labeled Crutcher a “bad dude.”
Solomon’s message comes from these words.
Video of the shooting shows Crutcher walking back to his vehicle with his hands up as several officers follow him, weapons drawn. In the video, two officers talk about the scene happening below.
“He’s got his hands up there for her now,” one of the officers says, referring to Crutcher.
Another officer speculates that Shelby has pulled out her Taser, before saying: “That looks like a bad dude, too.”
Moments later, Shelby fired a single shot and killed Crutcher.
“My question has always been, ‘what characteristics are visible in the air that would bring one to the conclusion that one is a bad dude?'” Solomon said. “There weren’t any other characteristics other than the color of his skin that could bring one to that conclusion. And I think that’s ignorant.”
The officer’s words also stunned Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany.
“You all want to know who that big bad dude was?” she asked at a press conference following the shooting. “That big bad dude was a father. That big bad dude was a son. That big bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud. That big bad dude loved God. That big bad dude was at church singing with all of his flaws, every week. That big bad dude that’s who he was.”
Tiffany Crutcher continued, “I want for everyone to know that that big bad dude his life mattered. His life matters.”