Civil rights advocates address possible Raleigh hate crime
North Carolina Black civil rights activists discuss a possible hate crime in Raleigh where a woman said men pulled a gun on her and her daughter while they were in a shopping center.
I would like to thank those of you that joined us for this very important call to action and raising awareness around the situation that has recently transpired in the city of Raleigh. In this moment, we feel that these incidences of hate and racism that are happening across Wake County and across the country on microaggressions that we need to address now my name is Marcus Bass. I am the deputy director of the North Carolina Black Alliance. That's M A R C. U S B. A s s deputy director of the North Carolina Black Alliance. And behind me are several different organizational leaders that represent different parts of a fight against violence, hatred and racism. There has been several different cases of racism that have been caught on camera, and the individuals that have done these different acts have shown similar characteristics of what has transpired in front of the BJ's wholesale store two days ago. And the individuals that you were here today are going to help elevate this racist element that is pervasively invading the city of Wake County. This is not just about what is happening in the streets in downtown Raleigh, but this about what is happening in the smaller pockets of Wake County These areas where the cameras can't get to and we're here today to shine light on these moments. The first person that you'll hear from is the victim in this situation. This young woman has lived in Riley. Her entire life has been dedicated in the city in various capacities. Also works in a capacity for the state of North Carolina. Her name is Arial Balogun and she is going to come forward now and share with you her experience. Zaria Thank you so much. So two days ago I was at BJ shocking sooner and I was with my 15 daughter and we were leaving the B day Stop! It's in there. I'm sorry about that. My name is Ariel Ball. Egan is spelled C A R E l. Last name is spelled B A l O. And two days ago, me and my daughter were at BJ Shopping Center on Capitol Boulevard. As we were leaving BJ Soccer Centre, we noticed two Caucasian males Entrant BJ Shopping Center without masks. We went to our car way loaded our car up and we proceeded to leave the BJ shop listener. As we left BJ Shopping Center, we came to a four way section. There were no cars there. I look both ways and proceeded to go. I noticed a big black truck approaching from my right hand side. When the truck came up. It didn't seem like it was gonna stop, so I actually talked my horn. I have a little car thought. Maybe they just didn't see me. Hey, did stop as he stopped. He actually, he stopped his car. I proceeded to go as I proceeded to go, he got behind my car and from the left side tried to cut me off, but there was actually a truck in front of me, so he couldn't cut me off once he wasn't able to cut me off. Just got behind my vehicle. Once he got behind my vehicle, we were able to proceed. We both turned to the left as we came toe away. Course road. You could either make a right or two left. He got on my passenger side and he rolled his window down. At the time, I didn't know that it was this same two gentlemen because their tent was dark in the car. He rolled his window down. He called me a black B word and people have done out on me. He pointed at me and my fifth year old daughter, who was a passenger in a vehicle. He pointed the gun. I explained to him that he was not gonna shoot anyone. So put the gun up and he did. As he put the gun up, he said, Oh, you guys aren't scared of guns, their ghetto black bees. He reversed his car, took a picture of my license plate, hold its car forward and turned his hat around. When he turned his head around, He said, You guys are the very reason why way have to make America great again. And he had a make America great head on, he said. Because of you, ghetto black, these we need to make America great again. As the light turns green, I let him go. I got behind his vehicle and I did take a picture of his vehicle. I immediately called the police and reported the incident. Thank you, Zaria, for sharing your story. Also in the passenger seat with Dario was her daughter. In this moment with so much at stake in the midst of covert 19 and missing So many protests happening across the city. Wear seeing these aggressive actions being taken by citizens, that represents an element of the city. That is not what we need to see. It is one thing to talk about taking down monuments, but this racism that is rising up in this moment, we have to make sure we are addressing it. Next, poor person that will be speaking will be attorney Don Blake row with emancipate NC Good morning. My name is Attorney Dawn Legros A double you in b l a g r o the victor easing Edgar. I am the executive director of Emancipated Unseen, and I stand here before you to say once again black lives matter to those folks that are still confused about why we have to say proclaimed the black lives matter. It is because a black woman and her 16 year old child can be driving down the streets of Raleigh and a white man who calls who hurled racial slurs at them, points a gun at her 16 year old child, can call the police Department of Raleigh and not have anyone return her call for more than 24 hours. That is why we say black lives matter and not all lives matter. Because in this moment, for a very long time, probably since the inception of this country, black lives have not met. But today we stand here and say no more. We will take no board. It is unacceptable that a woman I'm gonna say it again, that a black woman in the same community where just hours earlier, a black family that lived in that same community received a note that was also a hate crime that included intimidation and racial slurs. In the same neighborhood, a black woman in her 16 year old daughter had a gun pulled on them by a white man who hurled racial slurs at them, and the rally police department did not find it necessary or urgent enough to respond immediately. Send a detective immediately. Let me be clear. We hear very often the chief of police of Riley talk about the gun problem that we have in Raleigh. No one from her department seem concerned about that gun. That gun problem when a white man hurling racial slurs, pulled a gun on a 16 year old girl and her black mother. So all lives matter is what we heard from our chief of police. But clearly, all all lives in Raleigh don't matter equally, because it was 24 entire hours before the rally, police of Police Department even responded to a man or two men, for that matter, who are clearly a threat to the community that that is an ongoing threat. These men are wielding and pointing guns at people in our streets, and no one from Rally Police Department thought it was important enough to return a phone call for 24 hours. Let me be clear. This is a hate crime. This was a hate crime way. Stand here in front of the Wake County Courthouse and I say right now the district attorney Lauren free, made I fully expect for the rally Police Department Do not be so last days, a coat as they were and responding to this act of terror as to wait 24 hours to even return a phone call. I expect her to hold them accountable to make a full investigation and work diligently toe after take these folks who are clearly a threat to the community, specifically a threat to the black community. I want to see Riley Police Department respond with the same vigor that they did to protesters. I want to see them use the same amount of effort as they used when they were arresting people who were drawing with chalk in front of the governor's mansion to ascertain riel criminals. I'm expecting Lauren Freeman and just as she cheese debt ground to show us that black lives actually matter to show us that the safety of black residents in Raleigh is a priority because they've already both dropped the ball. Because let me be clear when Sage Martin was accused of sexual harassment or allegations or whatever the case may be, even without the filing of a police report or criminal charges, District Attorney Lauren Freeman went in front of the cameras and declared that she was investigating whether or not a crime had occurred. Pro actively investigating. So when I ask you to black lives matter when we say and declare black lives matter, it is in response to the fact that the leaders of our community apparently needs to be reminded, so I will say it again. District Attorney Lauren Freeman Way Expect you to investigate this hate front and all of the hate crimes we have seen on the rise in Raleigh as vigorously as you committed to investigating the sexual allegations against Stage Martin Chief debt Ground, we expect your officers, and we expect you to use the third of the city budget that is allocated to your police department to take seriously and investigate when two men pull guns and hurled racial slurs at black women and Children. To this point, both of these actors Lauren Freeman and Cheese Deck Brown, have failed. Do better. We expect federal charges. We expect state charges. This is a hate crime, crimes against black people because we are black people or hate crimes way will no longer tolerate the underlying presumption on the lack of motivation and protecting black lives. And until we see that we will not stop saying that black lives matter. Thank you. Thank you very much. Attorney. Black robe. Before we ask or receive any questions way just want to be very clear with what we're dealing with here. A young woman and her daughter were going to the grocery store BJ's wholesale. They were not involved in any form of protest. They were involved in an act that we do every single day. And they were met with racial aggression. A gun pulled out aimed at them in the middle of an intersection in a public place and were chastised based on the color of their skin in their gym. This is not a political situation. This is about hatred and racism that has taken root in his crowding and response to the unification of individuals across the city and across this country, standing up against brutality and against violence there, many different layers of conversations that can be had in this moment. But right now we're talking about the ability for a black woman and her daughter to be able to go to a grocery store and come out unscathed. At this time. There any questions will gladly entertain any questions. So this happened on I'm sorry. So this happened on. Okay, so this happened on Tuesday, this seven, the seventh. It was about 6 30 in the evening. No, it was sixth. Please. Exit six. Sorry. I've already provided the photo to the police department. Like what? No, they don't have any one of interest right now. I call when I after I called the police department. It took them about an hour to call me back to get the actual initial report. And a police officer detective actually called me this morning to let me know that she was investigating the actual incident. Yes, they're supposed to be looking at surveillance. I'm not sure as far as the surveillance video we have. As most of you know, we are very adamant about making radical reform our criminal justice system in the way that it works. Including the way our law enforcement, um, it's funding. One of the barriers, however, to creating those kinds of radical reforms is that we have entire systems that are set up to protect that particular form of investigation. So, to that end, yesterday, I e mails as her counsel BJs um headquarters national headquarters, and was told that unless we had a court order, we could not get a copy of the video, but that they would release if there was video that would release it only to law enforcement or at the behest of a court order. So we don't know video exists. You don't know if their surveillance video we believe that there should be. But because B. J. Was BJ was unwilling to provide us with that surveillance and Onley will survive provided to law enforcement. At this point, we got, we just don't know. And also just at this at six oclock in the evening, on a very busy intersection there, individuals that could have witnessed this situation, which is another reason. While we're trying to invoke the presence of the media and anybody that was witnessed to this incident in this moment, there are a lot of people stating that they are not racist. We're saying it is not good enough just to be non races. You have to be anti racist. You have to call out the elements of racism, the juicy for someone to be riding at six o'clock in the afternoon and to see a person pull out a gun on a black woman and her daughter in front of BJs. That is a situation at a time of day and a seat in the size of broadly, in which we know there are other witnesses, just as in the incident and wait Bill Plantation of individuals are putting information on doors and mailboxes. There's someone that is bearing witness to that, and we need those people to come forward. That is how you show us that lives matter. Black lives matter in particular. But any life step forward and call out the injustice when you see it, especially when someone is just trying to survive, not trying to invoke an amendment right, but trying to provide food and assistance by means of going to a grocery store for their family and being attacked by a racial element. That is what is at stake in this moment. Any other questions just, well, what other cases where were this? So this is the interesting thing. Right now there are very few ways for people to report hate crimes and instances. And just as in this situation with Miss Balogun way, see that when you go through the proper means of authorities, in some cases there is a delay to investigate situations. Think about the level of intimidation that we have, not just in Raleigh, but in rural communities across North Carolina. There are hate crimes happening every day we talk about banks. The nine individuals of loans. That is also a hate crime. We talk about individual being denied a job because of their status. That is a hate crimes. Will we talk about the denying of education based on someone zip code? That is a hate crime as well. So the level in which we track these incidences in the way we actually call them out is the racist hate that is, There is no measure. There are organizations that are committed to fighting around on providing access for individuals who have been victimized by crime. A CEO, you, of course. You emancipated see dozens of national and local organizations. And we're looking at trying to create ah hotline of assistance for individuals that are harmed or have incidences of hate that are going unreported and undercounted. And I just want to add to what markets just said to say this in this area where, where this happened off of Capitol Boulevard near Wakefield Plantation. This is a community that is not flooring to race racial issues and to hate crimes. It was only last school year where we saw maybe a school here before last, but where we saw racial epithets sprawled across the walls at Wakefield High School, a news I believe was hung there. But it seems as though hate crimes against black people, black Children, black bodies are not as easily identifiable by the mainstream as other types of they wanted to put it into that. This community is not amused, and as not not only is it not immune, it is actually a hot bid of this type of racial intimidation. We also had an incident last year at Ravens Cross High School, where the n word was was was written, sprawled in spray paint inside of school. No one even really talked about that. We have got to decide that crimes of race and racial intimidation against black people are still hate fronds. We got to be ableto X and show that all that that black lives actually do matter. Then we can get to all lives matter because it appears everybody else's life and lively. Who does that? Everyone else's Children are supposed to go to school without fear of racial intimidation. Everyone else is supposed to be able to go to the grocery store without having a gun. So let me be clear. This is one incident, but it is one of many, many that have been undocumented, but far too many that has been documented and nothing has been done. No question. Do you want our Freeman to investigate? Investigate both, because both of those things on her job. It is born Freeman's job by statute to be the person who investigates all possible crimes and prosecutes all prods in Wake County that should not be exclusive of law enforcement. That should be inclusive. But also we warned her to be as aggressive again as she Waas in a highly charged political incident with Sage Martin and coming forward and saying that her office was was investigating prosecution. We want to be just as aggressive when black lives are at stake. And make no mistake, black lives are still at stake because these two men are still at large. We don't know who they are. We don't know their names. We don't know anything about them. And they're driving around in the city of rally pulling guns on innocent black women and Children. I tell you what, though, if this was a kid is south these rallies, we would know his name by now. you would know what he looks like. And if you go to WRL, you might even know his address. I'd like to close by thanking everyone. I would like to thank Zaria for being brave enough to amplify her situation. There are so many folks that work in several different capacities across the state, in several different types of industries that are whatever reason, not able to share their story because of fear of retaliation because of fear of retribution. And in all of these spaces, we need to make sure that we are normalizing amplification of this hateful element that is rising in this moment, if we don't begin to address it now will be in a far worse off place. Ariel again was not in the midst of a protest. Aria was with her daughter trying to get groceries and was attacked and hurled racial slurs. That, and also a weapon, was brandished in her face. If we don't call this out, if we don't begin to start now calling this element out, we will miss the boat and the city will be in a far worse situation than before These protests. Moments like this sparked protests if this were to be an incident of someone being shot or murdered. We will be in a far worse situation. But these individuals that are getting away with these incidents unscathed must be shown toe life and justice must be served for the individuals like Dario and the countless other victims that don't have the microphone or don't have advocates behind them. We are going to make sure that justice served in this case. All right, Thank you all very much for coming and participating money. Okay? Uh, yeah.