Protests begin in Raleigh after death of Andrew Brown Jr.
Posted April 23, 2021 4:57 a.m. EDT
Updated April 23, 2021 11:30 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Another expected weekend of racial-justice protests began Friday in downtown Raleigh in response to the death of Andrew Brown Jr.
As of 8 p.m., Raleigh Police officially declared the protest an 'unlawful assembly' after they say dozens impeded the flow of traffic by tossing trash cans in the street as around 40 people marched through the city toward Glenwood South.
Protesters began dispersing shortly after this. Raleigh Police tweeted appreciation for the crowd remaining peaceful and respectful.
The crowd left the Capitol building shortly after 7 p.m. and chanted, “Andrew Brown,” along with names of other Black people killed by police officers.
Demonstrators made a stop at Morgan Street Food Hall, chanting and sharing their frustration among people eating and enjoying dinner.
Lauren Howell was among the protesters Friday and says that the cause is too important to sit out.
"As a community, we've been fighting and fighting and going and going, and not stopping, and we still haven't gotten justice," Howell said.
There were visible preparations being made for protests after Brown Jr. was shot in Elizabeth City by sheriff's deputies on April 21. Protests took place again in Elizabeth City on Friday, as well.
Social media posts brought to light showed those seeking truth and answers in the death of Brown Jr., who was killed when deputies were serving a warrant related to felony drug charges.
"It's frustrating how we keep saying the same names over and over and then we add names to the list," Howell said. "It's frustrating that families and loved ones are grieving, still haven't gotten the same justice George Floyd got."
On Wednesday and Thursday nights, a crowd gathered in downtown Elizabeth City to demand the body-camera footage from the shooting be released. Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools are following a remote learning schedule for all students and staff on Friday, canceling all after school activities.
Last Sunday, 12 people were arrested in downtown Raleigh after protesters blocked traffic, threw items, damaged property and set several small fires, according to police. The protests were in response to recent police shootings in Chicago and Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Glenda Thomas, Brown's aunt, said Brown was in his 40s and had several children.