Protesters at the Statehouse expressed their disapproval on Saturday of the Breonna Taylor case verdict and launched a call to protect Black women.
The protest, hosted by Black Lives Matter South Carolina (BLMSC), was originally scheduled to be held at noon before it was pushed back to 3 p.m. However, some people still gathered at noon and stood in front of the Statehouse on Gervais Street.
One officer involved with the killing of Taylor was charged with reckless endangerment, while the other two who shot Taylor were not charged.
Protesters held signs displaying social justice messages, and cars honked as they drove by.
Ninth grader Sharina Ryan and her sister, 10th grader Lazayda Ryan, came to the protest with their mother, who works for BLMSC. Both of the Ridge View High students said they came to have their voices heard.
“It's no point in being silent. If you believe in something, you have to say it, you know; so, that's why I'm out here protesting with my mom," Sharina said.
Both sisters said they came because they wanted justice for Taylor.
“The policemen who killed Breonna Taylor, they need to be charged," said Lazayda
Protester Megan Achelpohl said the verdict in the Breonna Taylor case brought her to tears.
"I instantly started crying. It’s funny, I was sitting in the living room, and I was crying, and my husband didn't know what was going on. He hadn't heard yet, and I was just crying into his chest, just so upset because it's just wrong. It's just wrong,” Alchelpohl said.
Chairwoman of BLMSC Shenee Ryan said she'd like to see an end to qualified immunity following the Breonna Taylor case.
"These officers need to be held at the same standard as a normal citizen. They cannot be above the law if they are going to enforce the law," Ryan said. "Once we get rid of that, we might see change."
Third-year psychology and criminal justice student Madison Craig and fourth-year psychology student Daniel Frye said protests are important for driving change.
"I believe these protest are incredibly important," Frye said. "Some people will say, 'Go out and vote,' some people will just say, 'Go and sign whatever petition is handed to you,' but those things do not work unless there is appropriate pressure placed on the politicians to actually fix things."
Craig said the least these actions can do is bring attention to the subjects.
"That way people can talk about it, and they can kind of get together and, you know, just start educating themselves more," Craig said.
Executive director of BLMSC Kayin Jones said he hopes the protest brought awareness to the injustices going on in the country.
"Our goal has always been to shed light; you know, that's what a protest is for," Jones said. "We just want to continue to shed light on the injustice that many African Americans, and people of color and poor people in our country, are facing."
None of the officers being charged directly with Taylor‘s death was a point of pain for Jones, he said.
"If you're willing to tell us that the officer was to be charged for missing Breonna Taylor's body and shooting into somebody's else's apartment, that says that her life doesn't matter, simply stated," Jones said.
Christine Bartruff contributed to the reporting of this article.