Arrests made, damage seen amid protests in downtown Raleigh

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — Some damage was reported as protesters marched in Raleigh Saturday night to demonstrate against a recent decision in the Breonna Taylor case.

The protest began in Nash Square in downtown Raleigh around 7:30 p.m. amid road closures already in place by Raleigh officials.

A curfew enacted by the mayor of Raleigh began at 11 p.m. and there appeared to be no protesters left in the downtown area by that time.

Around 9:45 p.m., Raleigh police said they were making arrests as “this event is now an unlawful assembly.”

About 15 minutes earlier, windows were broken at Beasley’s Chicken and Honey at 237 S. Wilmington St. and at One City Plaza.

Around 9 p.m., a group set an object on fire in front of the public safety center. It is not clear what was set on fire.

By 10 p.m., Raleigh police reported that fireworks were being thrown at officers by the crowd. About 20 minutes later, police announced they were making more arrests.

Around 11 p.m., some businesses were cleaning up after damage from the protests.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin later released a statement about the events Saturday night.

Here is her full statement:

What Raleigh experienced tonight was wrong and had very little to do with any call for justice.  The City prepared an opportunity for those who wanted to protest peacefully, and once again, vandals (mostly white) used this as an excuse to incite violence and cause destruction of our downtown business community.  Any message of support for Breonna Taylor was usurped by protestors who do not care about peace; they came here with the goal of destruction.

We as a Council are seeking understanding and compassion. We want to bring our community together. We commend the groups who gathered to peacefully protest this afternoon. Their message was clear – they are asking for equity and safety for people of color. We want to work together to achieve these goals.

I am urging our community not to judge the peaceful protesters by the actions of those who came to Raleigh tonight with an agenda of destruction. Their goal was simply to cause chaos.  We responded quickly and made multiple arrests.  For those who want peace, we are here to work with you.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin

Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges since Breonna Taylor was shot multiple times and killed by officers who entered her Louisville, Kentucky, home during a narcotics investigation in March.

While the officers had a no-knock warrant, the investigation showed they announced themselves before entering, said state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first Black top prosecutor.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the officers would not be charged in Taylor’s death, which happened after Taylor’s boyfriend fired shots at police.

After that announcement, Durham police say multiple businesses were vandalized Wednesday night as protests broke out around the city.

Police say at least 30 businesses between Main and Market streets were vandalized.

Officers said the damage in Durham was done by a group of 75 to 100 protesters all dressed in black.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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