Local News

Eleven more people arrested during protests outside the governor's mansion

Posted July 1, 2020 10:24 a.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2020 7:56 p.m. EDT

— Eleven more people were arrested on Wednesday morning for outside the governor's mansion in Raleigh during an ongoing protest.

Ten were arrested by the Raleigh Police Department and charged with impeding traffic. State Capitol Police arrested one person on charges of first-degree trespassing and resisting a public officer.

On Tuesday, four protesters were arrested from a large group gathered outside the governor's mansion. Those four were each charged with injury to real property after spray painting demands on Blount Street.

Dozens of protesters spent the night on the sidewalk Tuesday night outside the Executive Mansion to demand that Gov. Roy Cooper veto a bill that they say could keep secret details of deaths in police custody or jails. They insist that goes against the changes in policing that they have been fighting for since George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis last month launched protests across the country.

Senate Bill 168, which was passed early last Friday as lawmakers rushed to adjourn their legislative session, mandates death investigation records remain confidential when they reach the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner instead of being publicly available.

WRAL News has asked the Governor's Office for a statement but has not heard back.

"It’s just a terrible move in the wrong direction, away from police accountability. We want more transparency, more accountability," protester Todd Morman said.

Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say the provision just clarifies current law and makes it easier for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to get investigation records from law enforcement.

The measure has been under consideration at the legislature for more than a year, and no one flagged it.

House Majority Leader John Bell said Tuesday that DHHS and its chief medical officer requested the confidentiality language be put into the bill.

"The General Assembly acted in good faith to fulfill their request, and that’s why it was included in the bill," Bell, R-Wayne, said in a statement. "After further conversations and discussions about its unintended consequences, I am confident this will be revisited and corrected once the legislature reconvenes."

Lawmakers are expected back in Raleigh briefly next week and again in early September.

The group of about 12 set up folding chairs and sleeping bags and slept downtown on Tuesday.

"A couple people stayed overnight because they are so enraged about this bill," she said.

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