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State NAACP president in court on legislative protest charges

Posted October 25, 2013
Updated October 28, 2013

— The state president of the NAACP was in court Friday, along with about a dozen others who were arrested during the mass “Moral Monday” protests at the General Assembly earlier this year.

After six hours of testimony, the judge announced that the hearing will continue Dec. 3.

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The Rev. William Barber was one of more than 900 people arrested during the demonstrations against the legislative agenda of the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

The protesters said lawmakers were hurting the poor, the unemployed, students and other groups through their actions. They were charged with trespassing, failing to disperse and violating Legislative Building rules.

Former Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, was the first to testify Friday morning. She told the court that the demonstrators did not bother her.

“No, not at all. I sat right there. I was right by the gold doors, two seats away,” she said.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver spent most of the day on the stand and said he was concerned that the demonstrators might get out of hand. He testified that the group violated several rules, including congregating and holding signs that were larger than allowed.

Defense attorney Irving Joyner questioned Weaver about the building's rules and how they are enforced, including whether visitors are allowed to pray, sing and chant.

"There is no such rule (forbidding praying, singing and chanting)," Weaver said.

NAACP President Rev. William Barber NAACP's Barber in court on legislative protest charges

Joyner also questioned the police chief as to why an officer who recorded the protest did not record the entire event. The chief said he was unaware of how much battery life and recording space existed on the camera, so they only recorded bits and pieces of the protest.

Three protesters previously had their hearings. Saladin Muhammad was ordered to pay a $100 fine, but he has appealed the conviction. A judge dismissed charges against a husband and wife, Vicki and Douglas Ryder, who were arrested in May.

Charges against some protesters were dropped after they agreed to perform community service under a deal offered by Wake County prosecutors to clear cases from the clogged court dockets.

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  • jackaroe123 Oct 29, 2013

    "Barber has one thing in common with our President. He is a divider"

    "Divider" is a label that can be directed at every person who ever stands up to injustice or who questions the status quo. I don't think the final chapter of Rev Barber's or President Obama's legacy has been written yet.

  • lwe1967 Oct 29, 2013

    Rev. Barber should be fined like anyone else. Don't let the NAACP pay his fine. Make him pay it out of his own funds and the rest of them also. Where were their permits. There are limits as to where they can demonstrate. Certainly, not in the legislative building itself. If they had spend as much time on their jobs as demonstrating, they could have been more productive.

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 28, 2013

    Barber has one thing in common with our President. He is a divider. He earns a good living, judging by his appearance, off of promoting racial division and socialism. Every time he's arrested, both fines and length in jail needs to be lengthened.

  • wildlife Oct 28, 2013

    This guy needs to serve a little time. He is a trouble maker always stirring the pot and most people don't know he is the pastor of the largest church in the county where he risides, a very large church, and all of his kids have a doctorate degree,hmmmm sounds funny to me , lets get to work and start digging deep to find some holes in the armour, maybe that will silence this pathetic movement.

  • Workingrepublican Oct 28, 2013

    Buncombe County's GOP leaders had to resign because of ACTUAL racist comments he made on Comedy Central.

    What did he say that wasn't correct????I beleive he include white people too....or did you only hear what you wanted to hear....Race,race race.....I am so tired of race....We have a black president a black attny general and so on and so on....Stop crying please...please....stop crying and cry wolf!!!

  • Workingrepublican Oct 28, 2013

    Does this guy even have a church? Is he a rev. or a politician.....

    These guys go online and get what they need to become a Rev....it only takes a couple of days..Heck I could get one by thurs or fri.

  • goldenosprey Oct 28, 2013

    "How many times has Rev. William Barber been arrested. The last time I checked, a reverend should set an example and do the right thing"- will73

    Yeah, so? Gandhi, Nathan Hale, George Fox, MLK and lots of others were arrested for crimes of conscience. It's not like they committed bank fraud... oh, if they had, they probably would not have been arrested.

  • wildpig777 Oct 28, 2013

    Does this guy even have a church? Is he a rev. or a politician?

    akdavis1

    lol you have to ask? he is an activist,, a preacher-- to funny. a race baiter-- certainly

  • junkmail5 Oct 28, 2013

    How many times has Rev. William Barber been arrested. The last time I checked, a reverend should set an example and do the right thing- will73

    Yeah, a black civil rights leader who is a member of the clergy letting himself be arrested at protests for civil disobedience?

    Who ever heard of such a crazy idea?

    I mean, there's certainly NO good examples in all of history where that happened before, right?

  • will73 Oct 27, 2013

    How many times has Rev. William Barber been arrested. The last time I checked, a reverend should set an example and do the right thing. He hasn't been arrested for protesting. He's been arrested for breaking the law. The man fluents the laws of our state and gets away with it each time.
    Its way past time he is shown that he is NOT above the laws that we all live by. This man is a stain on the good name and history of the NAACP.

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