Local News

Raleigh mayor, police chief respond to destructive protests on Fayetteville Street

Posted May 31, 2020 7:11 p.m. EDT

— Windows on Fayetteville Street were boarded up by Sunday afternoon.

Nearly every business along the stretch of road in downtown Raleigh suffered damage when protests Saturday night turned into riots.

Raleigh leaders emphasized Sunday what happened downtown is not what the city stands for.

"Last night was both heartbreaking and devastating," said Raleigh mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

The protests on Fayetteville Street over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer began without incident on Saturday afternoon, but after two about hours, tensions escalated quickly.

“There was a group of people who came in the dark of night who had no intention of protesting peacefully," Baldwin said. "Instead, their goal was destruction, theft and violence as you can see in our streets today.”

At least twelve people were arrested. Several protestors were injured, one person was shot and five Raleigh police officers were taken to the hospital.

“There’s a way to present those issues to the police chief or anyone else, but this is not it," said Raleigh police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.

Deck-Brown said police had hoped to help protestors spread their message, but once rocks, bottles and items were thrown at officers, she demanded for control. “The actions of the violent, lawless crowds that damaged out city and attacked our officers was disgusting and unacceptable," she said.

The owner of The Vault had a brick thrown through his business window. “It was just pure chaos. Anarchy, chaos, insanity, absolute insanity," he said.

Deck-Brown said she won't allow it in her jurisdiction. “It wasn’t community that came out yesterday. Community is in place right now cleaning up the sidewalks," she said.

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