Local News

Raleigh protesters, mayor, police chief have different views on what's next as clean-up continues

Posted June 5, 2020 10:23 p.m. EDT

— As the mayor and police chief of Raleigh held a joint news conference hours before activists held their own, business owners continue the clean-up process following last weekend's protests and riots.

"They destroyed the TVs, the windows, the doors," said Rashid Salahat, owner of the Subway on Fayetteville Street. He gave WRAL an inside look at the destruction to his location, which was hit hard by looters nearly a week ago.

"This door completely destroyed," Salahat said.

Salahat said he was protesting peacefully earlier in the day last Saturday before all of the damage took place. Now, he's left picking up the pieces, literally.

"I did not expect this to my store, being part of the community," Salahat said. "Here's the stone, one of the brick stones, one of the stones they did (use)."

While Salahat was trying to figure out what’s next, the mayor, police chief and activists were too. They agree that changes need to be made but don’t agree on what those are.

"We're at a time in history where we have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past," said Kerwin Pittman, a social justice activist who lives in Raleigh.

At a news conference Friday, organizers of Raleigh Demands Justice and other groups wore T-shirts that said what the organizers want: a stronger police oversight board, less funding for the police department were at the top of the list along with Raleigh Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown to step down.

Earlier Friday, the chief got overwhelming support from Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

"She has always been courageous, compassionate, professional and demonstrated grace," Baldwin said. "We have her back now and we support her."

The protestors promised they’ll keep going until what they say will improve the situation is made a reality.

"To the mayor of Raleigh, Mary-Ann Baldwin, and chief of police, Cassandra Deck-Brown, if there's no justice, there will be no peace," Pittman said.

Minneapolis city council did approve police reforms which include banning choke holds and strengthening a current provisions requiring officers to intervene when officers act out. The activists at Friday's press conference said "It's that easy."

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