DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Four women from Durham have been charged and booked after a key highway in the city was blocked for hours by a protest last week, police said Saturday.
The incident took place from 5 p.m. to around 7:45 p.m. Thursday along northbound N.C. 147/Durham Freeway near Jackie Robinson Drive and Mangum Street, according to the Durham Police Department and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews called the protest, which was linked to the Israel and Hamas war, an “illegal closure of the highway.”
Some community members expressed frustration with how long it took Durham police to reopen the freeway.
Throughout the demonstration, officers diverted traffic off the northbound lanes. Hundreds of other protesters stood to the side of the road and on the highway overpass.
Jewish Voice for Peace Triangle announced Wednesday that a rally would be held Thursday at CCB Plaza in Durham. The group said it was calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and demanding the Israeli government stop all airstrikes.
Durham police said northbound traffic on I-885 was diverted onto Briggs Avenue due to the protest, while Pettigrew Street was closed at South Magnum Street due to a second protest.
Police said Saturday that the following women, all of Durham, were charged with impeding traffic: Olivia Linn, 27; Fatima Nur, 36; Jenae Taylor, 36 and Leah Whitehead, 28. On Saturday the women had not been taken into custody, police said late Saturday afternoon.
Sunday afternoon, police said all but Nur had surrendered to authorities and were booked. The three who were booked were released on a written promise to appear in court, police said.
Monday, police said Nur had surrendered to authorities and was booked. She was also released on a written promise to appear in court.
Police said Saturday that the incident remains under investigation and more charges are pending.