A protest was held at the North Carolina State Highway Patrol/Department of Motor Vehicles Office, located on U.S. Highway 1 south of Aberdeen, on Tuesday morning to protest the use of PIT maneuvers by law enforcement.

Charlene Ross organized the protest after her son, Shonquell Barrett, died in a crash June 29 during a high speed police pursuit on U.S. Hwy 1 south of Aberdeen.

Barrett, 22, of Aberdeen, was pronounced dead at the scene. His car had veered off the right side of the road and crash into a power pole and tree.


A prayer before marching begins.

The protest started with a prayer circle and continued with the protesters marching in the parking lot dressed in red shirts with Barrett’s picture on them. The protesters could by heard chanting, “PIT maneuvers kill,” “enough is enough,” “stop killing our youth,” and “innocent until proven guilty.”

Ross is protesting to get “a law named after Shonquell to prohibit the use of PIT maneuvers.”


Charlene Ross and other protesters marching at the State Highway Patrol Office.

According to law officials, “A PIT maneuver , or Pursuit Intervention Technique, is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop.”

Ross said, “The next protest is in Raleigh.”

Officials have stated that Barrett initially fled a sobriety checkpoint location that night.  The family has stated Barrett was driving illegally without a license or insurance, and the car’s registration wasn’t up to date but question the use of excessive force.

Barrett is the grandson of Taylortown Mayor Ulysses Barrett Jr.

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