GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Monday evening, Reverend Al Sharpton joined the campaign to free Dontae Sharpe, a Pitt County man loved ones believe is wrongfully imprisoned.

It was a joint event by the state and Pitt County NAACP chapters and organizers have demanded his release.

The story of Dontae Sharpe rang through Greenville for the past 23 years.

Reverend Al Sharpton said, “If they want to keep me out of town and keep me from Reverend Barber they need to let Dontae out.”

Reverend Sharpton said he’s seen too many cases like this.

“I’ll be in until Dontae’s out because he’s symbolic of many that are locked down for no other reason than race, class and that you think you can get away with it,” said Sharpton.

Reverend Sharpton said he joined this cause because of what it stood for.

“One thing I love about this movement here, this is not a black movement, and this is not a white movement,” said Sharpton. “This is not about black and white; this is about right and wrong.”

Dontae’s mother Sarah Blakely said it’s her son’s positivity that has kept her motivated.

Blakely said, “When I go see him and see that he’s so vibrant and in good spirits, he’s doing good.”

Blakely and her family said they fight for their cause every day.

She said, “With our trust in God and being the family that we are. You know like I’ve always taught my sons, if you do something own up to it but if you don’t, fight for what you believe in.”

That’s what she’s doing, right up front leading the charge to free her son.