RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One downtown business owner says Wake County Sheriff’s Deputies harassed him during a recent protest.
“I think we started with peaceful intentions,” said Timothy Lemuel.
After his bar, Ruby Deluxe, was tagged with graffiti Timothy Lemuel says he decided to take steps to protect his business.
“My notion was if we had a couple of bodies in the parking lot maybe they wouldn’t come back,” said Lemuel.
Lemuel says he was passing out water, eyewash, and granola to everyone who came by.
“We were providing first aid to anyone that needed first aid,” said Lemuel.
That’s when he says Wake County Sheriff’s deputies moved in, and despite his pleas, fired two charges to disperse the crowd.
“We’re actually here for a reason,” said Lemuel. “We had a right to be here. They weren’t hearing it. They were shooting.”
“We noticed that these agitators were going back and forth from this location and causing havoc,” said Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Curry. “They were not just getting water and doing good things.”
“You actually could’ve seen the bottles of water,” said Lemuel. “You probably stepped over them as you were walking over here. You would’ve seen the first aid stations with just your own eyes, and no police knowledge.
Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Curry says Sheriff Gerald Baker would be willing to speak with Lemuel about the incident.
“No deputies ever left the sidewalk,” said Curry.
However despite their close proximity neither side has reached out to extend an olive branch.
“I don’t know that I could even hear an apology right now,” said Lemuel. “Maybe someone in charge could come over here and have a little chat with me.”
Curry says the incident is still under investigation.
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