Local News

Police: Man arrested at ReopenNC protest charged with damaging property

Posted April 28, 2020 3:48 p.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2020 5:16 a.m. EDT

— Adam Smith said he was proud Tuesday of his wife's arrest during the ReopenNC rally in downtown Raleigh.

Ashley Smith is one of the organizers of the movement, which is demanding that Gov. Roy Cooper lift his stay-at-home order, arguing that economic damage from the shutdown is worse than the danger to health from the coronavirus.

Smith, told WRAL News that his wife intentionally ignored the orders of police not to step on the sidewalk, saying she wanted to demonstrate civil disobedience.

"She turned to me and said, 'Hey we’re going to show what civil disobedience is all about,'" Adam Smith said. "I think it's the best thing that's ever happened to this movement. This could be that step like that shot heard round the world. This is going to be the step that’s heard around North Carolina. I hope that it inspires people to step up and take that step into the unknown and be willing to stand up for your rights.”

Ashley Smith, 33, of Morganton, was arrested along with three others – Lisa Todd, 55, of Raleigh, Wendy Macasieb, 53, of Catawba, and Jonathan Dane Warren II of Indian Trail. All are charged with resisting a public officer and violation of an executive order.

State Capitol Police explained the arrests in a press release.

"Officers asked members of the crowd of demonstrators to step away from the fence and sidewalk in order to provide a safe social distance for the officers’ safety and the public and to protect the property from further damage. Three persons who refused to comply were charged with resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer and violating an executive order."

Warren was also charged with damage to property after damaging the "north east gate of the executive mansion by pulling on it so violently that it was broken," police said.

Adam Smith said his wife and others were determined to disobey the statewide stay-at-home order as long as it lasts.

"If there is a stay-at-home order in place then I guess those orders are not being upheld anyways," he said. "I don’t see why she would be signaled out to uphold the order. The roads are full of cars and people traveling all the time. The order is a bunch of hogwash. It’s all politics.”

He encouraged business owners to take their own step towards civil disobedience to get the economy moving.

"I hope that my wife taking that step would inspire you to open up your business, to go about your business, to live like you’re free and stand up for the constitution."

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