Raleigh police have been guarding chief's home since March protest
Posted April 30, 2020 10:14 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2020 9:09 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Police have been providing round-the-clock protection at Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown's Raleigh home since protesters showed up at her door in March.
The protesters were marching after a Raleigh police officer shot 26-year-old Javier Torres. Police said the group marched from Deck-Brown's home to Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin's home and throughout downtown.
"It was numerous incidents on top of numerous incidents and the people feeling tired," community activist Kerwin Pittman, who was part of the March protest, said Friday.
Online rumors mistakenly said a Raleigh officer had shot and killed a 16-year-old. Police said Torres was armed when he was shot, and he survived the incident.
The Raleigh Police Department said Deck-Brown's address was shared online during the protest, and she has been harassed since then.
"Since that time, her address has been posted to social media by other individuals, and the chief has received numerous angry and threatening emails. This type of activity poses a threat not only to the chief, but to her neighbors and their property as well," the police department said in a statement.
WRAL News is not disclosing Deck-Brown's address for security reasons.
"If she is getting threats from anywhere, it is not coming from anybody I know or anybody that is affiliated with me," Pittman said.
Rick Armstrong, vice president of Teamsters Local 391, which represents many Raleigh police officers as the Raleigh Police Protective Association, said that the department should have incident reports on any threats against Deck-Brown.
"The officers do not know of additional threats against her," Armstrong said.
"Even as the department works to determine which threats are credible and those that are not, we find it necessary to continue the security detail for Chief Deck-Brown and, by extension, her neighbors," the department said in its statement.
Armstrong said he also wants to know the cost of the security to the city in dollars and in manpower.
"Staffing is a serious issue," he said, saying that some officers have been reassigned from other parts of the city for the security detail.
The police department didn't respond to a Friday request for information on the cost of the security at Deck-Brown's home and any incident reports on any threats made against her.
The department said in its statement that it has provided security "for officers who have been involved in critical incidents and for public officials who have received threats."
But Armstrong said long-term 24/7 security for the chief represents an equity issue.
"I know of several police officers who were in a high-profile, on-the-job shooting, and there was continued threats and no longer a security detail," he said. "They received maybe a week or two of protections, not two months, and that is inequitable. That really is not fair. Her life is not more important than a rank-and-file police officer who goes out and protects this city every day."