Local News

Durham police find explosive device near area of protests

Posted December 6, 2014 1:11 p.m. EST
Updated December 6, 2014 11:27 p.m. EST

— Durham police found an undetonated explosive device late Saturday morning in an area where about 20 protesters were arrested Friday evening.

Officers responded to a call about a suspicious device in the 600 block of Foster Street between West Geer Street and West Corporation Street.

They found an undetonated device – a bottle with a wick and a petroleum-based liquid inside of it.

The device was safely removed from the area, authorities said.

Hundreds of people marched in the area of Durham Friday night, and 31 were arrested, in another round of protests against what demonstrators call over-aggressive police tactics.

Crowds and cops converged outside the Durham Performing Arts Center at about 10 p.m., where one show was letting out and another was about to begin.

When police asked protestors to keep moving, a few refused, and they were were taken into custody, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said.

"I think the officers used a lot of restraint, and made arrests only when they had to," Lopez said.

Officials at the Durham County jail said the protesters were released early Saturday.

Nineteen of the Nineteen of the protesters were from Durham. Others arrested were from Chapel Hill, Apex, Raleigh, Hillsborough, Graham, Carrboro, Concord and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Charges included failure to disperse and impeding the flow of traffic.

Chelsea Amanda Flowers, 29, of Durham, was also charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing officers.

Those arrested included:

  • Austin Marie Bouton, 24, of Durham
  • Susan Catherine Edgerton, 32, of Durham
  • Adrienne Liege Harreveld, 21, of Durham
  • Tamika Monique Heard, 21, of Durham
  • Aaron Alexander Caldwell, 21, of Raleigh
  • Susan Anne Pietroluongo, 23, of Apex
  • Akeem Zarhar Cheek, 29, of Durham
  • Morgan Anne Brooks, 25, of Raleigh
  • Sara Taylor, 26, of Durham
  • Allison Charlotte Swaim, 26, of Durham
  • Kathleen Rebecca Yow, 28, of Hillsborough
  • Kellie Ann Grubbs, 28, of Graham
  • Alexandria Leigh Stewart, 22, of Durham
  • Masha Taskindoust, 21, of Durham
  • Dominique A. Beaudry, 21, of Concord
  • Gabrielle Karine Beaudry, 18, of Concord
  • Laurin Michelle Gioglio, 29, of Carrboro
  • Natalie Frances Smith, 33, of Durham
  • Kenneth M. Strickland, 29, of Durham
  • John Charles Thornton, 28, of Durham
  • Crystal Larence Eatmon, 19, of Durham
  • Rachel Anna Cotterman, 26, of Hillsborough
  • Danielle Katherine Nelson, 22, of Durham
  • Lauren Brooks Parker, 30, of Durham
  • Erin Bree Heuerman, 32, of Durham
  • Asha Renee Godfrey, 22, of Graham
  • McKenna Elizabeth Ganz, 21, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Abigail Victoria Harris, 25, of Chapel Hill
  • Lydriquez Blount, 26, of Durham
  • Charles William Soeder, 28, of Durham

Overall, the protest was peaceful, with officers on foot and bicycle tracking along as the march left CCB Plaza and headed along Mangum Street to the Durham Freeway. No one was hurt and there were no reports of significant property damage.

Two miles of the highway 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. Drivers were advised to use Interstates 40, 85 and U.S. Highway 15/501 to go around the area.

Deputy Durham Police Chief Larry Smith said his officers balanced the right of the public to demonstrate with the need to keep law and order for others.

But Lopez said his patience with protesters is wearing thin.

"It’s putting people in danger at this point and time," he said. "It’s not sending a message. If they need to speak, we’re here and we are ready."