Local Politics

Raleigh city leaders look for ways to move forward after protests, vandalism

Posted September 27, 2020 11:53 p.m. EDT
Updated September 27, 2020 11:57 p.m. EDT

— After a night of protests that led to damage in downtown Raleigh on Saturday, city leaders want to know how to move forward.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said they supported peaceful demonstrations, but the message got lost when damage and destruction became involved.

Both said they wanted to find solutions with the community, but admitted these changes could take time.

"We have to come together with open ears, minds and hearts," said Baldwin. "Attacking our small-business community does nothing to advance the call for justice and advance positive change."

Deck-Brown noted emotions were high, but causing destruction was not the answer.

"There's no tolerance for behavior in this city, but seeing it happen across the country -- that's not the new normal and cannot be," she added.

Amid the anger and frustration over racial injustices, city leaders were hopeful for healing.

"This council is seeking understanding and compassion from our people,” Baldwin said. “We want to come together as a community and work towards solutions that work for everyone."

One solution is a police advisory board, which was approved back in June. Community members would review policies and support community outreach efforts within the Raleigh Police Department.

Deck-Brown also planned to introduce a new unit to assist people dealing with a crisis.

"We have a new police unit called 'ACORNS.' It will be made up of social workers and police officers who work with our homeless community and those with mental health issues," described Baldwin.

Baldwin added the conversation between council members and the community would continue.

The City Council is waiting for a report to determine how to approve policy and action with the police department.

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