Local News

Raleigh citizens voice their anger, concern to city council during special virtual meeting

Posted June 4, 2020 11:26 p.m. EDT

— A special meeting of the Raleigh City Council lasted nearly three hours on Thursday as residents voiced their frustration, anger and concern over the actions of the city and race relations following protests and riots after the death of George Floyd.

The virtual meeting began at 7 p.m. and wrapped up just before 10 p.m. City officials say they know by the state of downtown and the chants of protesters that people are hurting and want action. And they say the first step to change is listening.

One by one, Raleigh residents spoke by video to the council and mayor, packing complicated and tense feelings into 60 seconds.

"I am appalled by the violence and destruction that the city council and to an even greater extent the police chief has overseen and instigated," one person said.

"Our black and brown community members have a right to live, free with liberty and strength, just as our white family and friends do," another person said.

While the number of those signed up to speak was in the hundreds, the points they made kept repeating ... first there were frustrations over the handling of protestors.

"I was very upset to see citizens tear-gassed in Raleigh this weekend," another person said to the council.

Second was calls for change in the police department, including the removal of Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.

"There is literally no other profession on Earth that thinks they're completely above criticism and reproach like law enforcement does," another person said to the council.

Finally, there was a call to council for lasting change in the city budget.

"The budget before you reflects the violence of the status quo," said another citizen. "It offers not progress for the black community but rather maintains heavily militarized police force with little accountability."

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