Raleigh police spent nearly $1.5 million during George Floyd protests; tear gas used too often, report says

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh police said they spent about $1.5 million during the protests after George Floyd’s death.

The cost if for everything from officers’ pay to deploying tear gas.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said it was the third time they’ve deployed tear gas in the Raleigh Police Department’s history.

Although she stands by deploying it for some moments during the protests, she admitted they shouldn’t have deployed it every time they did.

Tuesday, Deck-Brown presented a review of the department’s response to the events from May 30 to June 7. She talked to city council about everything from costs of the protests, to their response, to what they could improve on going forward.

“We recognize that while there are many areas of strengths, there are also areas of improvements,” the chief said. The protests erupted after George Floyd’s death in May and turned destructive for two days in downtown Raleigh, North Hills and the Triangle Town Center.

“Tear gas was deployed by the deputies as the crowd began pelting officers with projectiles to include water bottles, rocks and chunks of concrete,” said Deck-Brown.

The chief said there were six cases of arson, 71 cases of damage and 153 burglaries. More than 100 arrests have been made.

Officers responded to the crowds in tactical gear. Police deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, ‘flash bang’ devices and smoke.

“We have to be aware of the protests, the uniforms and the equipment are simply an aspect of preparedness,” the chief said.

The overall protests lasted several days and were mainly peaceful, specifically after a curfew was imposed across Raleigh.

“We began to turn the corner from destruction to constructive conversations,” Deck-Brown said.

She said those conversations begin with being transparent and focusing on where they can improve going forward.

Another item the chief said they can improve on is communication, whether it be in the field or with stakeholders. Click here to read the full executive report.

A separate third-party board is also doing a review of the police response. That’s expected to be ready in October.

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