Black Lives Matter peaceful march held in Greenville

Published: Jul. 14, 2016 at 9:47 PM EDT
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It was a cry for change. A group of young girls who recently graduated from high school in Greenville say a Black Lives Matter march that took place Thursday was their way to speak up for those in the black community who have lost their lives to senseless actions of violence by law enforcement agencies across the country.

"Black Lives Matter movement is in no way to divide us, it is just to say black lives matter too," Shayla Lee says. "Nobody's life is better than others. We are just trying to say there really is a problem and it needs to be acknowledged."

As they marched, they read off names off dozens of unarmed black men and women who were killed in 2015 by police officers.

Jillian Ebron, 18, says their focus is on the black community because of recent events, like the shooting death of Philando Castile on July 6th in Minnesota, but their intention was not to exclude any race.

"If a house is on fire, you are not going to set water to the whole neighborhood," she says. "You are going to try to get that house out."

When the protest concluded, the event organizers thanked local law enforcement who came out to support their cause.

Kayla Fields, who plans to go to North Carolina A&T State University this fall, says she wants to continue to foster a positive relationship between officers and all minorities.

"A lot of the times, when people see a Black Lives Matter protest, they automatically assume it is anti-police, but it is the total opposite of that," Fields explains. "We just want to be treated justly, we want to stop the injustice, so I think it is important that the Justice Department stands behind us."

Teachers from Pitt County Schools, NAACP members and others supporters from the community marched along side of the young women and men who organized Thursday's event.

They say that true change begins with the younger generation.