Hundreds march during 7th night of protests in Raleigh Friday

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Several hundred people turned out again at the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh on Friday to protest the killing of George Floyd. 

For a seventh day, they gathered at the State Capitol and marched. 

From the North Carolina Executive Mansion they headed to MLK Jr. Boulevard and onto Person Street. The group sat there for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the time that Minneapolis police officer was seen on video with his knee on Floyd’s neck. 

“Black lives do matter and it’s important for you to come out. Even if you’re only nine years old,” said Courtney Purcell, who is 9.

Several groups held a press conference next to City Hall. They provided a list of demands, including the removal of Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, subpoena power for the new citizens advisory board, requiring police to report excessive force involving fellow officers and defunding police. 

“We’ve been getting lip service and planning and meetings for the last four years. This is not a new issue that’s been introduced to Raleigh,” Serina Johnson, a community activist said.

“The entire world is watching right now. We have all of these people who didn’t realize the importance of this issue now see it,” Dawn Blagrove, a community advocate said.

This marks the fifth night of peaceful protests in the city. It’s also the fifth night a curfew has been in place. Thursday the curfew times was pushed back from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

“It may do a fair bit to reassure city officials project that they have things under control but in reality, it prevents people from going about their daily lives in some very significant ways,” Kristi Graunke, the Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina said about the curfew.

The ACLU of North Carolina sent a letter to the city Friday. They’re concerned about the curfew and the tactics police used last weekend. 

“We are watching to make sure people’s constitutional rights are respected this weekend and in the days and weeks to come,” Graunke said.

Another protest is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday at the State Capitol. 

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