Some Raleigh protesters appreciate show of respect from police; others say it’s not enough

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For the fourth day, protesters took to the streets in Raleigh. For the second night in a row, demonstrations ended peacefully.

Demonstrators said the protests aren’t only about the death of George Floyd, but demands for policy changes and greater accountability at a local level.

“I want to see reform in our police, in our government. We’re not just walking for nothing. We’re here today even after there was a curfew to show that we still want to be heard,” said Zaria Hedgepeth.

More than 200 people marched from the state capitol to Raleigh GOP headquarters before making their way to the city hall.

As the group took over Hillsborough Street, people came out from their homes and apartment cheering in support.

The entire demonstration remained peaceful.

Outside city hall, officers with the Raleigh Police Department took a knee as a show of solidarity with protesters’ calls for justice in Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

“George Floyd was the last drop in the dam for it to burst,” said 21-year-old Joshua Yan. He shook hands with Raleigh officers, telling them he respects them but wants their respect in return.

“I appreciate and respect them no matter what they do. I know there are good people that don’t deserve to be hated. I’m a good person that doesn’t deserve to be defined by my color and I just wanted to let them know that,” he said.

Some protesters and community activists took a knee alongside protesters. At least one officer was visibly moved by the gesture.

However, other activists say taking a knee is not enough and they want police to take a stand for change along with them.

“If they are sincere, we will see those officers who were taking a knee stand up and join with us in requesting those policy changes,” said Dawn Blagrove.

Blagrove and members of Raleigh PACT sent a list of demands to city leaders. Their requests include giving a proposed police oversight board subpoena power to investigate grievances, as well as a policy requiring officers to intervene when a fellow officer becomes overly abusive during an arrest.

The Raleigh City Council will meet Thursday to discuss the city’s response to the protests.

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