Local News

3 women charged with impeding traffic during morning protest on I-40

Posted June 24, 2020 9:14 a.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2020 6:30 p.m. EDT

— Three women face charges of reckless driving and impeding traffic by slow speed for their role in a slowdown protest on Interstate 40 Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of cars slowed to 10 mph in the westbound lanes of I-40 just before 9 a.m., creating a backup that stretched for up to 10 miles through Raleigh. The protest, organized on social media, was the latest in response to nationwide acts of racism and the death of George Floyd.

Before 9 a.m., Sky 5 showed cars traveling at extremely slow speeds on I-40 West near Hammond Road in Raleigh. Slowdowns were also reported in the areas of S. Saunders Street, Gorman Street and Chapel Hill Road near Cary.

At 9:45 a.m., a group of cars came to a standstill in the area of Cary Towne Boulevard. Several people got out of their cars to speak with N.C. State Highway Patrol troopers parked on the side of the road.

At that time, Kristina Breneman, of Raleigh, Taari Felice Coleman, of Raleigh, and Rachel Catherine Jones, of Carrboro, were arrested. All three were cited with traveling "at such a slows speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic" and operating a motor vehicle "carelessly and heedlessly in willful and anton disregard of the rights and safety of others." according to their arrest warrants.

Coleman is a leader of the activist group NC BORN. Another leader in the group said Coleman was also arrested earlier this month at a downtown protest. After videos of that arrest surfaced, Raleigh Chief of Police Cassandra Deck-Brown called for an investigation into the officer’s actions and charges against Coleman were dropped.

Although the protest was advertised as "statewide," the slowdown appeared to be limited to Raleigh, according to WRAL's Brian Shrader.

The slowdown started at 8:46 a.m., in recognition of the 8 minutes, 46 seconds that a Minnesota officer kneeled on Floyd's neck before he died.

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