Report released following Durham protests
Posted December 12, 2014
Durham, N.C. — An internal police report was released Friday evaluating the recent round of protests.
On Dec. 5, crowds and law enforcement officers converged outside the Durham Performing Arts Center just before 10 p.m., where one show was letting out and another was about to begin.
Two miles of the Durham Freeway were closed for about 20 minutes as some people laid on the asphalt, some held hands to form a barrier across the traffic lanes, and others approached police cars with their hands in the air.
In total, 31 people were arrested.
According to authorities, anarchist groups from Chapel Hill and Carrboro are credited with organizing the protest and using tactics to turn a peaceful protest chaotic.
In the past, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez blamed outside elements for other unpeaceful demonstrations in the city.
Nineteen of the protesters were from Durham. Others arrested were from Chapel Hill, Apex, Raleigh, Hillsborough, Graham, Carrboro, Concord and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"It is a problem that Chief Lopez views these organizers and protesters as outsiders," said Durham resident, Kelly Joyner. "People are demanding change in police practices and attitudes. Not outsiders, not agitators, Durham residents and citizens."
In a statement following the report's distribution Lopez said he knows Durham residents attend, but believes those causing trouble are not local.