Thursday evening as members of the Emancipate NC team stood in a parking lot in southeast Raleigh, and watched balloons float into the air, celebrating the life of Darryl Tyree Williams, a man who was killed by RPD simply for being Black in an overpoliced community, an all too familiar thought ran through my head… What will it take for Black people to be free of state sanctioned violence in Raleigh?

As we stood outside in the dark, listening to the unspeakable pain of friends and family of Darryl, they spoke about a man who was kind, who is always willing to help and who loved deeply. There’s nothing that can be done to bring Daryl back. But, what we can do in this moment is fight like hell to make sure that we don’t watch any more balloons be released, celebrating the life of a person who is dead because Raleigh Police Department fosters and cultivates a culture that has no respect for Black life or its own written policies. 

With its new Preventative Policing RPD has taken the people of Raleigh back to Jim Crow era policing. Harassing Black people for simply being in their own communities. Roaming the streets like a pack of hungry dogs looking for its next victim. Emancipate NC and the people of Raleigh stand firm… we will not go back to Jim Crow and Black Codes. 

So in this moment Emancipate NC will continue to do what we have always done…DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY AND JUSTICE WITH THE PEOPLE! In 2023, mother should not bury a son because he did not respond quickly enough to the demands for his freedom papers. No person should be killed by police because he refused to be harassed. Black people should not have to constantly provide proof that we deserve to just BE. 

Every time we see a balloon floating through the air it is a reminder that our work is not done. Our struggle continues. 

Join the family of Darryl Tyree Williams and Emancipate NC at a press conference on January 24, 2023 at 11 a.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens at 1300 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Raleigh, NC.