Local News

Meeker wants answers about 'Occupy Raleigh' arrests

Posted November 1, 2011

— The capital city's mayor wants to know what role Raleigh police played in arrests last week of several anti-Wall Street protesters on the sidewalk next to the Capitol building grounds.

Capitol Police officers, with the assistance of Raleigh police, arrested eight people on Thursday after they didn't comply with officers' instructions to remove their belongings from the sidewalk.

"I just want to know what the scope of our obligations is," Mayor Charles Meeker said Tuesday. "Apparently, we’re supposed to respond all the time. I want to be sure it’s understood exactly what the rules are so the City Council knows and so our public knows."

A video clip posted on YouTube that shows officers arresting a disabled woman prompted Meeker's questions, he said.

"The videotape shows that our police and the Capitol Police were acting very professionally, so there’s no issue there," he said. "The question is, 'Why is someone who is disabled, sitting on a chair, arrested?' Is there more to that story? Is there a better reason for that?"

Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan, City Manager Russell Allen and the city attorney were expected to address Meeker's concerns at Tuesday's City Council meeting and to talk about what role the department might play in any future Occupy Raleigh actions.

Charles Meeker Mayor has questions about 'Occupy Raleigh' arrests

Three of the eight Occupy Raleigh demonstrators were charged with misdemeanor second-degree trespassing. Five others are charged with resisting police.

The Department of Administration wanted to clear the sidewalk of coolers, chairs, tables and other items. Although most people complied, three wouldn't leave their chairs, and others surrounded them as police approached, a state Capitol Police spokesman said.

"This is playing out across the country. On the one hand, the protests need to be orderly," Meeker said. "On the other hand, people ought to be allowed to express their rights. We need to have the right balance here, and I just want to be sure we have it."

Demonstrators posted plans on Twitter Tuesday afternoon to occupy the meeting Tuesday evening after a gathering at the state Capitol at 5:30 p.m.


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  • Rebelyell Nov 8, 2011

    So, instead of the police helping someone that's probably unable, they arrest them? What's worse is RPD passifiers excusing their totalitarian behavior. God forbid if anyone of you need help, you'll probably get arrested too but, I suppose it's okay cause they are only doing what they are told.

    Bunch of sleeping sheep.

    Best comment. Sleeping indeed. What a bunch of easily misled sheep you are, Raleigh. The few protesters will easily be pushed around and forgotten. Will you remember this exact moment, when you are evicted from your sleep number mattress because you can no longer pay the bank? Insert comment here that would not allow this to be posted.

  • gnewsome1 Nov 8, 2011

    Cannot compare this to the tea party. They complied with the law and did not defile public and private property. The occupiers should try the same thing.

  • acc_rules Nov 3, 2011

    They should have to acquire a permit for each protest, exactly as the Tea Party protesters had to do. No permit? Go to jail.
    We should not adopt these people as our "pet protest project."

  • arfamr1007 Nov 2, 2011

    Wow, these guys sure do get our little right wingers' panties in a wad, don't they? Funny thing is, it was just a year or so ago when the tea party whackos were doing much the same thing, only they were made into puppets for the very same arrogant rich bankers that the "occupy" movement have done such a good job of calling out.

    totally different. The Tea Partiers abideed by the law and didn't camp in public areas trashing the place, deficate on law enforcement vehicles, and everything else these occupy people are doing. Occupy is a dispicable movement that is demanding more free stuff for those who refuse to earn it.

  • rabidpro Nov 2, 2011

    ""They should round up all of the Occupy protesters and lock them up and throw away the key." - DLTSO

    Heil Hitler! Hans"

    Yes and all they'll need is a few prisons about the size of the Rose Bowl to fit them all.
    November 2, 2011

    On cue... Cliche Hitler reference.... Sigh.... Pathetic...

  • ncwebguy Nov 2, 2011

    So the disabled, and anyone standing up for them, are not allowed to peacefully assemble on public property? Who will the GOP controlled GA pick next?

    It is obvious the Repub-Tea flavored posts on here that their movement is not to take America "back", but an un-American movement to take America *from* anyone it disagrees with.

    The "no weapons" law was not enforced during Tea Party rallys, but trespassing on public property is in enforced for these protestors. As a taxpayer, it is good to see Mayor Meeker standing up for the rights of citizens. The constitution guarantees Americans the right to know the charges they face, but that seems to be yet another lost right.

    As a Raleigh taxpayer, I hate being double taxed to pay for State Capitol and RPD forces doing the same job. A group that really cared about taxation would protest. A fake group with other motives would want the opposition arrested. And we see where the "tea" party cowers.

  • fayncmike Nov 2, 2011

    ""They should round up all of the Occupy protesters and lock them up and throw away the key." - DLTSO

    Heil Hitler!

    Yes and all they'll need is a few prisons about the size of the Rose Bowl to fit them all.

  • Cats Nov 1, 2011

    "God given freedoms ???" You have NO "God Given Freedoms." Your Freedoms are provided by your good fortune of being born in this country. Stand up and say that in many countries and you'll be dead before you hit the ground.

  • Hans Nov 1, 2011

    "They should round up all of the Occupy protesters and lock them up and throw away the key." - DLTSO

    Heil Hitler!

  • jelly bean Nov 1, 2011

    I tell ya what Meeker you want to know what our obligations are? Get that crowd out of there and keep them out.