Protest organizers speak about next steps and state demands
Raleigh Demands Justice members are holding a brief press conference this afternoon to discuss the next steps and state demands.
No, you already. Hello. Thank you for coming out without press conference where we're going to talk about our demands. But first we want to take a moment of silence for all the laws lives that have been lost at the hands of police violence to all of the people who have been dehumanized, degraded, beaten and broken because of unchecked police violence. You would like to take a moment of silence. Thank you. My name is Attorney Dawn Blade Grove. I'm the executive director of Emancipate INSEE. I, along with all of the groups behind me, came together and coalesced around a set of policy demands that we think is necessary and long overdue to ensure that the people of North Carolina and America who are black are not abused and battered by law enforcement with no accountability. We have We came together as a group around this set of policy demands that we want to see happen and brought together thousands of people who peacefully stood with us and we stood with to demand change. This is the moment every generation, every race, every creed, every color was with us one Saturday for four hours harvesting the power of the people to demand change. And so we all stand here today, empowered by the power of the people driven by the people to set out a set of policy demands that we believe will help change the culture of law enforcement and, most importantly, help protect all citizens equally, not just in North Carolina but in America as a result of the power of the people. Governor Cooper brought this group of folks on behalf of the people together because he heard the people. He saw the people and understand it. Understood. Excuse me that now was the time to move. So he listened. And what we shared with him, where the demands that we're going to share with you right now fires, we demand we the people, demand that North Carolina create legislative or executive policy that will allow police oversight boards across the state toe have subpoena power. It is necessary in order to breach the trust that has been broken between the community and law enforcement, for there to be a redistribution of power, a redistribution of power between locally elected officials, law enforcement and the people. A citizen's oversight board with subpoena power, the power to investigate grievances. The power to issue rulings and results the power to be at the table when policies and decisions are being made about who will be law enforcement officers in our communities and who will remain to have the trust that the community has put in them to serve us with respect and with dignity In order for that to happen. The very first step is that we need subpoena power. We need to redistribute the power to the people as it relates to police accountability. That is our first demand. Thank you. Lastly, I would like to say if you care if you are someone who wants to stay involved again, my organization is emancipating. See? Go to our website, sign up for our newsletter and our action alerts. If you want to take next steps, join us. Thank you. Good evening. My name is Carmen Pittman. I'm the founder and executive director. Reps. Recidivism reduction educational programs services also with social justice activities. What you are seeing today is a change in the time police who challenged police accountability across the nation. What specifically right. You in the city of Raleigh in a state of North Carolina. With this coalition that we have full and many more that will be joining. We were now demand. We're not asking. We are demanding that change is going to call our second domain. We would like the immediate removal off Chief of police. Cassandra, get brown. It is time for her to go no longer where we sit idly by while the citizens are brutalized. No longer will we remain silent while she remains silence to the injustice. I understand. And we understand that police in sometimes can get much what to always stand on the side of your offices. Even when they do wrong is purely unaccepted. And there will be no draconian rule. No more. Them days are over. So what do you see right now is a change in the tide and Robbie police support me. Lead us here. We'll ask. We're demanding that Cassandra Deck Brown. Step to the side. Not only just us as a coalition, you could see by the turnout for the actions that has been perpetrated against individuals. Walk peacefully exercising their constitutional rights for kids to be shot with rubber bullets and gas is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. And we will not stand for this for nobody in a leadership position and Reilly police Department to speak up against. That is not itself. And we know that action start from the hit down. So we're asking. We're demanding. Excuse me. That the chief of police, Cassandra Deck Brown, step down. Step to the side. No longer will we tolerate the injustice that has been perpetrated against the people and the citizens off Wake County and Rob, thank you. If you would like to follow more and get involved, please go to my website. Rips that net r r e p s dot net for next steps or follow me on social media at Kerwin hitting. Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Dana Baloch. I am the co founder of Yap Young Americans protests I'm here today alongside everyone else to say we demand and we are no longer asking, As Kerwin said, for the end of over policing in the black and brown communities, to stop building police police sites in black communities and to stop the over policing and terrorism ation of both black and brown communities. What you saw yesterday when the police sent flash grenades when they shot people with rubber bullets when they tear gas teenagers and L. The elderly was the militarization off police. This is not new. This is what they have been doing to black communities every single day in Raleigh. It's not just it. We're done talking about the rest of the country right now. This is happening in Raleigh, and it is not new. It has been happening for decades. The police have militarized, and as a Muslim woman who has seen and grown up with the different images of wars off countries around the world, this is what it reminds me up. And this is what has been done. What they're doing right now is a complete militarization off Raleigh. They are making sure to put people down and to make sure that our voices are not hurt and the media, not the media. The Raleigh Police Department is lying about what's happening. They are making. There are blatantly lying about the protesters. They're putting out news that more stuff is happening in North Hills and Triangle Town Centre, and that is false. The protesters are peaceful, and they are mainly teenagers. They are young people wanting to exercise their right. But the police have used military type force against them, and we no longer will accept that, because that will come back into our communities. Once again, I am Sana Baloch, the founder of Young, the co founder of Young Americans protests. And if you'd like to follow us, we are, yeah, underscore Agent on Instagram and Young Americans Protests on Twitter Actually, thank you. Good afternoon. I stand here today as Greer Web, the co founder of Young Americans, protest, along with Sana Baloch, as well as the co founder of North Carolina Town Hall, an event that occurred after the Parkland shooting of 2018 and that has ballooned into racial gun violence and environmental and housing action. Across the city of Raleigh and the triangle area, I'm a rising sophomore student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and, along with our 1st 3 demands, are fourth demand is this. Our fourth demand is as follows that the state of North Carolina put pressure on and that local municipalities take no time but to enact right now immediately, policies from the police departments sponsored by the City Council in town councils across the state that require that make it mandatory right now that when a police officer observes another officer over using his force, violating the rights of another violate violating the rights of a suspect violating the rights of a detainee. As was seen as was evident, as was obvious in the George Floyd case, that they step in, that they stop the violence, especially when the suspect is already detained and in handcuffs, that they step in when overuse of force is used. And if they do not that they are fired, that they are fired. We must We must have this change start from the state level and trickle down. It must be demanded by city and town councils across the state of North Carolina, and it must be proposed by police departments and police stations across the state. Again, that demand is as follows that the state of North Carolina puts pressure on local communities, city councils and town councils to force our police departments to require that when an officer is on the scene and sees the overuse of force being committed against a suspect or detainee, especially not only but especially one already detained or in handcuffs. And that officer does not step in that upon immediate review by hopefully one of the demanded community boards with subpoena power and investigative power that that officer then be fired and removed from the force, not selling some folks earlier. Right now, my voice is tired. I was out there on Saturday. I was out there with protesters yesterday on social media, calling folks talking to folks, making sure that we continue putting the pressure on the state. The city of Raleigh, the capital city of the state, specifically to allow folks to demonstrate peacefully. But you all my voice is tired. I want my eyes to be tired from reading policies that are enacted that were demanding. I want my fingers to be tired from flipping through the pages of policies being told that are going to be implemented to us by city and town councils. I want my ears to be tired by police chiefs Cassandra Deck ground in particular in all North Carolina police chiefs, telling me that they are gonna fire officers that over use force. I want my eyes again to be tired from seeing some of these militant police officers lay down their weapons like they have in Minnesota. Lay down their weapons like they have in Michigan and come walk with us, enforce the peace and show that you're on our side. Stop facing off with us and firing tear gas when a word that you don't like it spoken your way that is unacceptable were demanding that officers step in when injustices occurred. And that is our fourth demand. Again, I am tired, but what is not what I am not tired of is protesting. I'm not tired of supporting these folks behind me. I am not tired of seeing visualizing the North Carolina community coming together for what's right. I will never get tired of that again. My name is Greer Web. I'm the co founder of Young Americans Protest and NC Town Hall. A quick Google search will pull up the social Media's for both of those. I'm a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and now you will receive our final demand. Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Faizal Khan, founder of Carolina Pete Center. What we saw last week George Floyd is unacceptable. Is brutal, barbaric? All those three police officers. I need to be indicted and prosecuted and brought to justice. It's not only brutal, it's barbaric act of terrorism and the law enforcement that are in a position to protect and serve the community are marginalizing and targeting black communities. Let's be very clear. This is not an isolated incident. We've been seeing this for months, for years, for decades, for centuries, the constant marginalisation, discrimination, institutionalized discrimination at every level against the black communities. And I think it's very clear that country is tired and sick of the intense violent brutality by the police officers. They need to be held accountable and they need to be prosecuted. Ato highest level what we're seeing in Raleigh. It's horrible being part of a peaceful rallies and protests and for police to come out and use violence, military style violence. It's unbelievable. This is not a war zone. These are communities with hopes and dreams and aspirations. But let's be very clear. The hopes and dreams aspirations off black and brown communities been systematically isolated and marginalized and crushed down. But I got news for everybody. It's going to stop now, is going to stop because the country is sick and tired of seeing I'm sick and tired. We are sick and tired of seeing our brothers and sisters across the country humiliated, dehumanized purposely. The African American communities. The brown communities plate a vast role in this country's economic democracy. Civil rights movement. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and there's so many others. I can go on my Angelo. The strength of our nation is in a diversity, and they should be embraced. I'm sick and tired of talking, having a dialogue. It's time for action. It's time for action to bring those police officers in Minnesota, In Texas, in Ferguson, in L. A in New York, in Cincinnati, in Ohio, Justice prosecuted sentence. They used to be more accountability, visibility, transparency. Starting here from Raleigh, we lack leadership in our city Council. We lack leadership in the Raleigh Police Department. It is time for a change. I'm this using a word. It just changed, changes coming and changes here. So when our demands is that we demand investments in community, let health and safety strategies instead of investing in the police. We do invest in our black communities, not investing by building more police stations. They were investing by building businesses Health care facility So our Children could be on the streets but not worrying about police officer looking at staring at them, pulling them over, not acceptable anymore. So I asked members of the community all backgrounds, ethnicities and colors and creeds to come together to stand up. Your silence is a consent to this travesty that's taking place in this country. Enough is enough. And I ask you to join us in unity to fight the injustices. Brutality is taking place on black communities. Thank you. Good afternoon, markets. Bass. I am a resident here in Raleigh on one of the individuals that responded to the police violence and the continued use of force and have joined this group of individuals as well as individuals that are even here outside of this press conference to set the record straight on exactly why we're here and what we're doing and why people are responding to the violence on behalf of the actions that took place in the murder of George floored and in the murder of countless other residents that have lived in North Carolina, have a lived experience similar to the George Fluid experience One thing that we are hearing from our local leaders is very questionable, this notion of our community and our city. What we have seen over the past two days from elected leaders is the definition of two cities on the night of Saturday that afternoon, in which thousands of residents took to the streets, that was our city. Our business owners are individuals that attend school in various capacities here and Riley, our Children, our community leaders. What followed after that on behalf of the police violence that ensued was our community responding toe violence. As we have seen time and time again, there is no need to talk about any violence or damage to property without properly setting the record straight on what insinuated the violence to begin with, which is the police violence and murder of black lives. Individuals that are forming any type of protest, violence or non violent are responding to the violence that happened at the hands of the police. We believe thoroughly in everyone's amendment toh vote. We saw a reopened movement in which thousands of people took to the streets. Some enforce, not met with the violence on behalf of the police that the residents and Riley received and across the state in the country received on Saturday. The demands are specific. The demands are not new demands. These demands have been asked by advocates and networks across North Carolina and across this country. And for us to stop and just look at a broken window and not look at the person that started the violence, the racist element that continues to perpetuate not just the police system, but all systems that govern how we move in a quarter's toe. This country, we are recognizing the wrong problem. There are individuals that were there on Saturday that have been connected to this movement that are dedicated to responding and we're going to call up certain individuals. And we also want to recognize that the protest and demonstration in the streets is gonna be equally met with action toe organize, galvanized, galvanized, galvanized and mobilized individuals around the specific demands and issues. There's a Hall of City hall meeting on Tuesday. Individuals are already planning actions to participate in the City hall. Individuals are submitting questions for our local leaders. The time to act would have been before the violence, the time to act and held the city, call meetings and have the conversations. It was long before tomorrow, but we're asking residents to step in that space in other spaces to continue to elevate the demands that concerns the two voices that you're going to hear now represent some of the many stories of individual that took the streets with the thousands of individuals in North Carolina across not just Riley, but in cities in North Carolina and across the country and tow add a narrative along with the media that was with us in the streets to see the police. Violence can help lay the story better than the press conference that we heard the day immediately following the actions by our city of Riley. The first speaker will be the landing Vandegrift, Are you? Yes, when things questions after good afternoon. My name is Delaney Vandergriff. Today we're morning, George Floyd, Rianna, Taylor and Ahmad are very and the thousands of lives lost due to the negligence of our government and their greed here in Raleigh were still mourning Akyel. Dinkins were still mourning Keith Collins and many other slain at the hands of the Rally Police Department. We're living and strange and uncertain times. But what we know for sure is that black communities do not have to live this way, and we're committed to making sure that we see that transformation in our lifetime. Specifically, transformation in the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina and Raleigh, North Carolina, has had failed leadership four years. That is failed leadership, not just now, but for years Democrat after Democrat has been elected and conspired with the rally Police Department, private investors and developers to make the lives of black people working class people of color and poor white folks a living hell through over policing violent gentrification and manipulation of the public. Mary Ann Baldwin. Every single statement you've released has been disrespectful, empty and cowardice. And your statement released today you said that your top priority is the safety and security of the people of Raleigh. That's a lie. If that were the case, you'd remove the Rally Police Department precinct in Southeast Raleigh that makes young black people feel uncomfortable and unsafe. If you cared about safety, you'd be working diligently to demilitarize the police department. If you cared about safety, the city budget would reflect that and you would invest in building black futures and black families. If you cared about safety, you would not have implemented a city curfew that gives law enforcement a green light to brutalize gas and shoot Children as they have been doing for days. Mary Ann Baldwin defund and divests from the Rally Police Department and invest in our in our communities because you know that this is more than just an issue of police brutality. It's bigger than property damage. It's bigger than me. It's bigger than just a city. And you know that there will be no peace in the city until we get justice. No justice, no peace. Thank you very much. The landing. Next we will hear from late. Misha Comiskey, organizer here in the city and a coordinator of the Black and Brown Policy Network. We are still in a pandemic. Good afternoon. My name is Les Misha Whittington Kaminsky. I stand here as a black woman native to this state, and when I say native, my family predates slavery. But we were enslaved. Way were Africans that came over here via a trade route, autonomous and strong. We were part of the rebellions in the resistance when slavery took our relatives and our people and our friends. So I am here as a woman whose folks have bled and died on this land 100 years ago, there was a pandemic similar to the one we are in in this nation. Ah, 100 years ago, there was an economic spiral downturn for this nation. And one year shy of 100 years ago, our government bombed a U. S city of black citizens Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as Black Wall Street. The first city to be bound all in the midst of a pandemic. And here we are, 100 years later, and the mist of another pandemic in the midst of another rockets in the rest of another uprising. So you mean to tell me that this is coincidence that we are here? No, it is not. It is the problematic symptom of a broken system that was built on our bets burned and our blood. This policy, this system, our senses. Our voting was all created to heart and disenfranchise and murder. Black bodies. Our ancestors fought for emancipation. Our elders lead the rebuilding of Tulsa and the marching through Jim Crow to civil rights as churches burned as our cities burned as our buses were burned as our bodies and our allies were burned. And guess what happened this past weekend and around the neck, Shin cities have burned. As we move through these policy spaces to discuss and elevate these demands, it is clear that it is the people that are elevating these demands. It is the people who were demanding that we have restitution, restoration, reformation and transformation off this town, this city, this state and this connection because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. We have been moving mutual aid because that's what our people do. We have been moving food to folks. We have been moving water to folks. We have been moving mask because, wow, black people are being shot. We are also breathing in our potential last breath due to a respiratory illness called Cove. It because we have pre existing health disparities because of our environmental pollution. But China won't talk about that. So as you hear these demands, there is forcing there's power because as people, let's also one more thing and I'm a step back. The narrative that were shifted this past weekend took the true story for black, brown and allies who marched like around the walls of Jericho. We much and the police came in as supremist terrorist groups came in. Let's also be real people. And they have contorted a narrative that steals, elevates that black people are. Watch those that black people are breaking up their own businesses when really we need accountability. And this is a shifting I'll narrative and demanding that our policy demands be elevated in order for our bodies to be reclaimed in our ancestors. Brother George Flowing Rianna, Taylor Ahmad, our brains Keith Collins. I killed Dinkins and every other place of Please forgive me about mispronounced a name because I am in a place right now because this is our lives. This is a just a press conference. We go home and we are still people of color and I will go home and I would still be black. So I appreciate your time and this uprising will continue because we are taking back our land and our rights. Individuals that have decided to join us, please feel free to fall into the into the crowd. You have sacrificed your time and efforts to be here. You have risked your lives during coping 19 to be in the streets, and we want to make sure that you are galvanized with us. The individuals that have been responding on a local capacity don't master response that we're hearing from our statewide leaders, and we're very concerned at the posturing of our local leaders. While some of our leaders and state elected office see the bigger picture and already speaking to that, we will entertain questions. But at first I want to make sure that we have reiterated and stated the demands to simply number one. We demand the removal of Chief Deck Brown and the policies below or if not if not immediately implemented. We demand the removal of Chief Deck Brown if the policies below are not immediately implemented. We demand subpoena power to the proposed oversight boards across the state and in Riley, North Carolina, to strengthen their ability to effectively review and investigate grievances Through an RPG policy change. We propose that no new police stations are built in heavily black areas in that multiple stations close to each other in heavily black neighborhood or trance forward transportation reducing the overall policing of black communities and Riley and across the state we demand a policy requiring officers to intervene when a fellow cop becomes overly abusive to a detainee and we demand and investment and community led health and safety strategies instead of increasing investments and policies. We will not entertain any questions around any violence unless it is originated from the violence that was started at the hands of the police. That the murder of George Floyd at this time we'll entertain any questions. I do want to ask you about that. I mean jumping off, because I think that is, You know, you talk about you wanting there to be a truthful narrative and then we're we are seeing windows being broken. We are seeing businesses that aren't necessarily involved in this being damaged. Where does that play into your overall message for reform for change? I think it plays in a narrative where the police are asked, Why was it that a man was strangled and murdered and citing the violence that resulted in windows being broken? I don't think that a single window in downtown Raleigh or across this country would be damaged. I don't think that a single building would be burned if it were not for a man being forcefully murdered in a pattern that we have seen all too familiar, not just in Minnesota, but right here. So you think that having you think that this is a result of the violence we've seen within the police Department, you think it's unnecessary kind of results of the fact that we are seeing issues more systemic within rally PD and across police departments cross country? What we're seeing is a lack of response to racism and police brutality. What we're seeing are individuals being choked by the hands of police with very little response or recourse or accountability. And what we're seeing are individuals standing up nonviolently sharing their stories of injustice, standing in community with individuals across this country. And any act that you are seeing now is at the hands of the murderers that continue to kill black people with impunity. So you're saying the people that are being oppressed or not, the ones that are damaging businesses. The damage that has been called that you were seeing was sparked from the murder of George Fluid at the hands of the police. Thank you. You're explaining you're not. I am condemning the murder of George Fluid at the hands of the police and stating that any violence that is spark from that murder is violence at the hands of the police officers that murder George Fluid and the racist system that continues to perpetuate a narrative. Blaming the people and not holding the system accountable way are absolutely condemning violence. We are condemning the violence of law enforcement officers across this country that has gone on since the inception of law enforcement against black and brown bodies. We are condemning the violence of marginalising and ignoring the pain of large portions of our community simply because they are black, brown or poor. We are condemning violence that is exposed through our political systems that ignore our demands. Bad is the violence we are denouncing, and that is the only about violence that we should be discussing at this moment. Because anything else that results is fruit of the same poisonous tree. And the poisonous tree that is spawning the fruit of violence is the unchecked wall violence that is issued every day around this country for decades. For hundreds of years at the hands of law enforcement. So if you want to talk about violence, let's talk about the fruit. That board, that violence way number of our colleagues were hit by a rubber bullet and what we saw until 6 30 last night wasn't people where police were moving in. We saw people singing, camping, father, anybody. People who were there hold up at 6 30 Other people with a different agenda showed up. Instigated police. I'm asking you with people four down, glad many businesses a second time. Are they part of your group? Are they people of your or are they outside agitator? Who are they? First of all, it's a racist question to assume that we speak in monolith because we do not, That is, first. We do not move as a group. Contrary to popular belief, there's no black meeting where we decide what we all think, believe and do, and I will say again, as I will continue to say, the only violence that we need to be concerned about is the violence that planted the tree that has formed any other violence we have seen and then two we up route the tree of violence, which is the lack of accountability and the lack of justice, the marginalization, a broken brown and black bodies. There is no other justice. There is no other violence that matters to be discussed until we are willing to discuss the roots of that violence and hold the root of that violence accountable. Then we talk accountability down the line. But first we have to hold accountable the route that spawned whatever violence we're seeing. You're let get $1,000,000 problem. If I was the chief of police last night, which means I would have been the chief of police. Ah, year ago and a decade ago I would have made sure that the people were hurt. I would have made sure I would have made. That is the answer. The answer is, if I were the chief of police, I would have insured that I heard and listened and responded to the violence of my officers. I would have ensured that I supported police oversight. I would have ensured that I created sunshine in my office. I would have ensured that the alleges later that the legislation was changed so that the grievance the grievances filed against law enforcement officers were public record, I would have showed all of those things that happened. And by doing those things, I would have also ensured that no violence would have happened in the streets of rock. No, you asked me if I was the chief of police. It wouldn't happen. That is exactly my position. Way would like to invite everyone to participate in the town hall meeting that is going to be hosted by the City Council tomorrow. They're individuals that have shared their stories in numerous ways. Thousands of individuals have taken to social media to express exactly how they felt in the days when they went out to protest. And they're also standing out and speaking out against Bilis and all forms, including police violence. I would encourage you all to join with us in this conversation around the specific demands to really listen with us. There was a time where they would not gas and bombed the media. But guess what? They're gassing and bombing YouTube, and I don't know if you are running the morning shift with the night shift, but what we saw there were not bullets being marked with any names. There was violence being enacted on the citizens who is showing their First Amendment right? I implore you not to just look at the demonstrations that are happening in the streets. Look at the community that is gathering around and answering the question. What to do next? The community that is responding to these demands the community that will continue to be here long after the protest has left the streets and going into policy and going into elected office. We ask that you join the City Council meeting tomorrow? Asked the same questions to our elected leaders. We thank you so very much for your time and attention at this time, we will conclude this conversation. Feel free to speak to any individual in the space, but recognize that the statement that has been provided that you have heard here is a statement and coordination with the coordinators that have been doing the nonviolent work with the community long before this moment and will continue to do that long after this. So if you don't get those demands that you want, what do you think will happen if we don't get those demands in that very first demand will be acted upon until the city leaders that hire and fire those in power and law enforcement are in the right position to make the right decision based on the people. Are your individual questions please, I think.