UNC-Chapel Hill students protest Ferguson decision at the Pit

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC-Chapel Hill students crowded the Pit, a gathering spot on UNC's campus, for four-and-a-half hours Wednesday.

The students were rallying against police brutality after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The length of the protest, mirroring the amount of time Brown's body was left sprawled on the street.

Organizers said they pulled about 200 students into the rally with a simple message: police brutality is real and disproportionately impacts blacks and minorities.

Student demonstrators shouted out names of people they said were victims of police brutality. Then they yelled "black lives matter" and shouted to anyone passing by: "If you don't know why we're here, ask us. Join us!"

"We're basically trying to surround the Pit," said Nisha Harris, organizer and UNC junior. "This is a high traffic area, so we know people are going to hear us and we really want to get people talking. That is, literally, our only objective today to spread awareness, because if you know, you can grow. So we're definitely giving instances of police brutality."

Harris says they cycled through about 30 names of people allegedly victimized by police brutality in the past few years. However, students rallying Wednesday said racial problems involving police in America go well past physical abuse.

Sloan Taylor, a UNC Freshman at the protest, said he can relate.

"Being a young African-American male, I face these challenges every day," said Taylor. "So I just wanted to lend my support to Michael Brown and others who went nameless in situations like these. It's really important to me."

Harris put a point on it.

"Police brutality is real, and if we want to stop that, we have to be aware of what's going on," said Harris. "We can no longer have this blind eye because the facts are the facts and they can't be disputed."

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