I-Team: Rioters arrested mostly local, but RPD finding influence from outside groups

Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Rioters arrested mostly local, but RPD finds influence from outside groups
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Rioters arrested mostly local, but RPD finds influence from outside groups.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- An ABC11 I-Team analysis found that most of the individuals arrested for crimes during the Raleigh riots were in fact from Raleigh, though sources inside Raleigh Police Department confirm investigators traced threats to outside groups.

At least 38 people were arrested during the weekend melees that have traumatized the City of Raleigh and stolen the narrative from frustrated demonstrators who for hours demonstrated peacefully for police reforms and accountability in the wake of the George Floyd incident.

"Besides the obvious physical, financial and emotional cost of such actions, the violence and vandalism distract from our mission of justice," Raleigh-Apex NAACP President Gerald Givens Jr. told ABC11. "We must keep our focus on the injustices that people of color live with every day: lack of access to quality health care and education, a justice system stacked against us, and a lack of economic opportunities."

Sunday's violence once again targeted businesses in downtown Raleigh, including restaurants and small businesses. The destructive behavior, however, extended to North Hills and Triangle Town Center.

"I don't think that a single building would be burned if it were not for a man forcefully murdered," Marcus Bass, Executive Director of Advance Carolina, and one of the organizers of the daytime protests. "There is no need to talk about any violence or damage to property without properly setting the record straight on what insinuated the violence, to begin with, and that is the police violence murdering black lives."

The volatility surrounding race issues notwithstanding, the near-term goal of restoring calm to city streets still rests on the shoulders of the very authority under scrutiny: police.

Weekend arrests were made by a variety of departments, including RPD and State Capitol Police. According to law enforcement sources, investigators scrubbed through social media and revealed threats posted on what sources call "anti-government, anti-police, anti-big business and anti-media" individuals and groups who wanted to see a repeat of the turbulence in other American cities like Minneapolis and New York.

Still, RPD sources tell the I-Team there is "no evidence" yet of any organized outside influence or funding, including from what some refer to as Antifa, and instead, detectives believe the violence is a result of an organic call for action and mischief.

Indeed, the I-Team's review of the 38 arrests concur with inside sources, with the vast majority of suspects living in Raleigh and surrounding areas. Three of those booked, however, are from out of state: Virginia, New York and Florida.

The data also reveals a wide range of ages, between 19-66, and a diverse mix of white, black, and to a lesser extent, Latino and Asian backgrounds; the arrest log also included two women.

Charges range from resisting arrest to public disturbance to inciting riots.