Local News

Durham protest briefly turns chaotic after incident during die-in late Wednesday

Posted June 3, 2020 6:35 a.m. EDT
Updated June 4, 2020 3:20 p.m. EDT

— In Chapel Hill and Raleigh, another round of protests began around noon Wednesday. Over the past week, thousands have been in the streets, driven by outrage over the death of George Floyd last month.

10:32 p.m.: WRAL's Joe Fisher reports that during a die-in by several hundred Durham protesters, an unidentified vehicle drove close enough to the crowd that many jumped up and ran for cover.

Police said that officers had blocked some intersections around the protest, but the vehicle came through an unblocked intersections to reach the site of the protest. No one was hit or injured in the scramble.

Durham police could be seen in riot gear inside the police department. It was unclear if any action was going to be taken as many protesters remained outside the police building while others left.

There is no curfew in Durham during the protests.

10:15 p.m.: Durham police posted on its Twitter account that the protesters there briefly broke off into two groups. The second group was at NC Hwy. 147 but dispersed after about 30 minutes.

9:35 p.m.: Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown spoke with protesters in downtown Wednesday night and gave them until 9:45 p.m. to finish their march before leaving and honoring the city's 8 p.m. curfew.

7:03 p.m.: Protesters gathered to speak before marching in Durham on Wednesday. The group, which numbered in the hundreds, marched to the Durham Police Department before holding further speeches.

5:05 p.m.: Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins joined a group of marchers in Fayetteville who are protesting the death of George Floyd. "The police department is the community. That's why we are here," Hawkins said while marching. There was an estimated 300 at the march, according to WRAL's Rosalia Fodera.

2:20 p.m.: Fayetteville Chief of Police Gina Hawkins plans to march along with protesters Wednesday night near the Circle K at Cliffdale and Reilly roads.​

2:10 p.m.: In Chapel Hill, hundreds of protesters are on the move, walking down Franklin Street and chanting "No justice, no peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

2 p.m.: Additional protests are planned in downtown Raleigh Wednesday evening, including a dancing protest in Moore Square.

A group of protesters plans to take their demands to Raleigh Chief of Police Cassandra Deck-Brown at her office on Six Forks Road. That event will take the form of a "die-in" where people lay on the ground to block the entrance to the police substation there.

Others plan to gather after 5 p.m. on the grounds of the State Capitol.

1:45 p.m.: A speaker from the NAACP got the Chapel Hill crowd clapping and chanting. He urged NAACP presidents across the state and the country to advise local leaders: "We are done dying," and then he proceeded to lead the crowd in that chant.

1:10 p.m.: Speakers began to address the crowd in Chapel Hill, welcoming participating groups and sharing personal stories.

In Raleigh, the planned hour-long human chain dispersed without incident.

"My faith calls me to is non-violent action," said organizer Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. "You understand the violence and the frustration, and yet my faith calls me to respond in non-violent ways."

1:05 p.m.: Chapel Hill resident Allison Allaire-James said she turned out to protest, her first time, out of sadness. She said, "I don't want to remain silent. I think the whole community needs to know that black lives matter and we need to stand up for what's right."

12:57 p.m.: Dozens of young people gathered under the trees on McCorkle Place at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Most were wearing masks and many were carrying signs.

12:10 p.m.: All chain of silent protesters lined Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, bearing signs and bearing witness.

'Human chain' to form in downtown Raleigh

Members of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church planned to join with protesters to create a "human chain" of up to a mile long – from the church on Hillsborough Street to the North Carolina State Capitol. Organizers called for 350 people, standing 15 feet apart, holding signs in silence.

Rev. Nancy Petty said the purpose was to bear witness, "to respect the physical, social distancing that we’ve been asked to do in our city, and to not gather in large crowds, but to still give a personal witness with our bodies and our words."

While the protest is planned for the afternoon, Raleigh will be under a curfew Wednesday night for a third night beginning at 8 p.m.

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