Some Raleigh community activists say police won’t change if specific demands aren’t made

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Some longtime community activists working with protesters have said without specific demands, nothing will change.

After four nights of protests, Raleigh police made a simple gesture – tgey took a knee to show their support. Dr. Kimberly Muktarian said it was her idea.

“We’re supposed to work together to achieve this goal,” she said.

Muktarian is the president of Save Our Sons. She’s been working with police and other community advocates for years.

“The citizens here in Raleigh have seen tremendous hurt and pain amongst our black community. And we have been relentless bombarding our city council members, our chief of police, as well as our mayor,” she said.

The focus Tuesday evening was on educating the protesters.

As hundreds chanted in front of City Hall, activists nearby explained what specific changes are needed.

The city is getting a new police advisory board. But citizens on it won’t be empowered to investigate complaints against officers as advocates had wanted.

“We’ve been asking for four years and now we’re demanding,” said Rolanda Byrd with the group Raleigh PACT.

They’re demanding the removal of Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown unless their demands are met immediately. They also want subpoena power for that oversight board, no new police stations in black communities, requiring officers to intervene when a fellow cop becomes abusive, and investing in community-led health and safety strategies.

“I agree that we need some more dialogue,” said Rick Armstrong with the Raleigh Police Protective Association.

Armstrong said officers want to work with the communities they serve.

“We would encourage to sit down with the rank and file police officers, sit down with community activists, and want to talk through this. I think you have to understand both sides,” he said.

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