Durham’s Highway 147 reopens following protest

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A group of about 50 protesters blocked Highway 147 in Durham Monday afternoon as they called for an end to police brutality.

The lanes were blocked for less than an hour as the protesters placed a sign from the pedestrian bridge near the South Alston Avenue exit.

The protesters began standing in front of traffic on Highway 147 just before 3 p.m. and brought traffic completely to a halt.

Durham Police were on scene to assist with the road closures.

Protest organizer Skip Gibbs said the protesters would not move until Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis and Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead agreed to meet with them and about their concerns regarding over-policing.

“We just want to summit to talk about how we can prevent what happened in Minneapolis  from happening here,” Gibbs said.

Some people stuck in traffic got out their vehicles and started yelling at the protesters.

However, other people who were stuck in traffic were in support of the protesters’ cause.

“I’m not angry at all,” said Alana Jones, a Durham resident stuck in traffic. “I’m so glad to see our city standing up and making their voices heard.”

Shortly after blocking traffic, Chief Davis called the police on scene and spoke with Gibbs on the phone.

She agreed to meet with him later in the week.

The highway remained closed until Sheriff Birkhead agreed to meet with the organizer as well.

The protesters did traffic to exit the highway onto South Alston Avenue after they found out a woman was stuck in traffic who needed to get to the hospital.

All lanes were reopened to traffic after about an hour of protesting.

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