RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Peaceful protests turned violent Saturday night as looters smashed through windows and doors of downtown Raleigh stores.
CBS 17 cameras caught dozens of people as they broke into businesses and stole clothing and merchandise. Some even set fires on Salisbury Street.
Some shop owners stayed and pleaded with looters to stop.
Raleigh police officers threw tear gas to break up large groups of people destroying buildings.
But other protesters maintained peace to get their point across.
After 11 p.m., only a small handful stayed downtown holding signs and chanting for justice in the George Floyd case.
“This isn’t the right way…not what they are doing is wrong. They are making a point, but committing crime is not the right way,” said a protester.
In the midst of the chaos, the executive director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, Lindsey Lughes, offered help to anyone in need.
“We aspire to be an actively anti-racist center and to be an actively anti-racist center means we show up,” said Lughes.
She too is peacefully protesting the death of George Floyd and other unarmed black men who have died across the country.
Her team set up a first aid stand offering water, handwashing stations, and food to anyone throughout the night.
“I am not in a position as a white woman to tell people how they should be angry. And my hopes are that everybody stays safe. But I understand that there’s some real righteous anger here,” said Lughes.
As the looting began to intensify, her group took shelter and authorities came in to protect property.
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