Durham Freeway back open after protesters march along road

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The City of Raleigh will be under a curfew for the third night in a row Wednesday following two days of peaceful George Floyd protests.

Raleigh curfew: What does it mean and who is exempt?

The protesters were part of a nationwide movement demanding change and racial equality in the United States of America.

The protests come after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on the back of George Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes after an arrest. Floyd later died.
George Floyd memorial, public viewing services happening this week in North Carolina, Minnesota

THE LATEST ON THE PROTESTS



WEDNESDAY

10;15 p.m.
The Durham Freeway is back open after demonstrators moved along the road for the second time in three days. Protesters blocked traffic at the S. Mangum St. exit. The demonstration was peaceful.

On Monday afternoon, protesters blocked traffic on the freeway near the Alston Ave. exit.

10:10 p.m.
Tensions briefly rose in Durham between demonstrators and a driver as protestors lied facedown on East Main Street in silence for 9 minutes in memory of George Floyd.

Protestors questioned how the driver was able to get past police that were blocking the street.


9:25 p.m.
After a somewhat heated debate between protesters, Raleigh Police Department Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown made the temporary exception to allow protesters to march in downtown Raleigh until 9:45 p.m.

When the 20-minute extension is up, protesters will be asked to go home or face curfew consequences.
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Deck-Brown, in a conversation with ABC11's Josh Chapin and protesters, said she let the protests continue for Wednesday night only as an "act of good will."

WATCH: RPD Chief Deck-Brown explains why she allowed protests to continue past curfew
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Deck-Brown said she hopes that protesters will respect the curfew on Thursday after their conversation.



9 p.m.
An hour after curfew, Raleigh Police Department Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown spoke with protesters, asking them to go home. They asked her if they could march for another hour, to which she said no.

Protesters also asked Deck-Brown to march with them in plain clothes, carrying a sign, and for a citizen accountability board for the Raleigh Police Department.



8 p.m.
As Raleigh's curfew took effect, about 100 protesters marched from Nash Square back to the Executive Mansion.

7 p.m.
Protesters in Durham met at the Durham Police Department headquarters before marching to Long Meadow park and the Durham Bull statue.

While they marched, the protesters sang "We Are Soldiers In The Army" and recited poetry.

WATCH: Durham protesters sing "We Are Soldiers in the Army"
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6:30 p.m.
Protesters outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh said they wanted to have a discussion with Gov. Roy Cooper and demand he take action on police brutality.

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Protesters gather at the Executive Manson and demand to hear from Gov. Cooper. Josh Chapin reports.



After more than three hours outside the mansion, the protesters went to Nash Square, their original meeting place.

6 p.m.
During a protest in Raeford, friends of George Floyd's family asked others to pray for them as they marched from the Hoke County Courthouse to the Sheriff's Department.



5:45 p.m.
The Army says Defense Secretary Mark Esper has overturned an earlier decision to send a couple hundred active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C., region.

The Associated Press reports that the decision Wednesday comes amid growing tensions between the White House and the Pentagon over the military response to the protests.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy tells The Associated Press that the decision came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions. He says he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.

5:15 p.m.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins is marching with protesters and answering their questions about police accountability.

"We've been wanting to be a part of the protests," Hawkins said. "We've been wanting to speak out against the actions. We've been wanting to say we hold each other accountable. Now we have the opportunity to express that."

Fayetteville police officers knelt in solidarity with demonstrators on Murchison Road during Monday's protest.

The story behind Fayetteville officers and protesters kneeling in solidarity during demonstrations

4:45 p.m.
More than 100 people are gathered outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.





3:30 p.m.
The charges against former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin have been increased to second-degree murder, court records show.

Chauvin, who was the officer seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged last week with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

3 p.m.

Protesters have started to gather outside the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to demand action from Gov. Roy Cooper.

2:45 p.m.
200 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne's immediate response force will be the first to leave Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, returning to their base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The remainder of the active-duty troops, who have all been kept at military bases outside the city in northern Virginia and Maryland, will also get pulled home in the coming days if conditions allow, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss imminent troop movements. The active-duty troops were available, but were not used in response to the protests.

The departure of the troops comes as Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Wednesday that current conditions do not warrant using military forces for law enforcement in containing the protests. President Donald Trump has in recent days talked about using the military to quell violent protests in U.S. cities.

2 p.m.
Demonstrators in Chapel Hill have started to march.



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Protesters march in Chapel Hill, say they want the police department defunded. DeJuan Hoggard reports.



1 p.m.
Protesters have gathered at Franklin Street in Chapel Hill near McCorkle Place.


12 p.m.
Raleigh's city-wide curfew will be in effect for the third straight night, starting at 8 p.m. This follows two nights of peaceful demonstrations in Raleigh with no arrests.

"For the second straight night, our city experienced multiple protests. For the second straight night, the protests were peaceful and without the threat of violence," said Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. "There were no injuries, no property damage, and no arrests. We saw differing voices coming together and sharing, listening, and learning. This is exactly how we begin to build a new way together."

The curfew will be in effect until 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

"Even with this progress, we cannot relax our focus on keeping our public safe and secure," said Mayor Baldwin. "Making this decision is incredibly difficult. The call for justice will and must continue. My intent in extending the curfew is to provide safety for those who protest, safety for those who protect us, and safety for all who call Raleigh home."

Tuesday night, demonstrators marched more than two hours past curfew.

There are exceptions to the curfew including those traveling to and from work. A full list can be found here or you can call the curfew hotline at 919-996-2200.

TUESDAY

12:30 a.m.
Raleigh police characterized Tuesday's protests in town as 'peaceful' and said they made no arrests. Sometime after the 8 p.m. curfew went into effect, a group of protesters marched east of downtown. Police chose not to confront the group and allowed them to go downtown.

Raleigh's curfew will be lifted at 5 a.m. The curfew is in effect each night until the mayor lifts it.

9:45 p.m.
The protest in Durham wrapped up, with protesters still out in Raleigh peacefully disobeying the curfew.

In Raleigh, police in riot gear began to mobilize on a GoRaleigh bus near City Hall.



8 p.m.
Protesters in Durham said they were going to stay near the jail for "as long as they can" and then march back toward NC Central's campus to wrap up the protest.



One demonstrator spoke to ABC11's Tim Pulliam and spoke poignantly about DeAndre Ballard, the NCCU student killed by a security guard in 2018.

She said to know Ballard was to love him and said he was a good friend. She said she attended the protest not just for George Floyd, but for Ballard and others who lost their lives at the hands of authority figures.

7:45 p.m.
Some protesters are gathering peacefully outside the Durham Jail.



Protesters are still gathered outside City Hall in Raleigh

7 p.m.
Protesters gathered outside the NCGOP headquarters and now headed to City Hall.



5 p.m.
Gov. Cooper on Tuesday responded to Trump's claim that the response to protests by governors across the nation has been 'weak'

Watch what he said here:
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4 p.m.

State Capitol police officers briefly took a knee with protesters who had gathered near the State Capitol building. It's a symbol of unity that's been seen in cities across the nation. The protest is supposed to last until the curfew starts at 9 p.m.

2 p.m.
At a media briefing Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper prefaced his remarks on COVID-19 developments by first addressing the Floyd incident and the subsequent protesting that has turned violent in some places, including in Raleigh during the weekend.

"To those lifting up their voices, I want to say I hear you, I am listening, and I want to help make the changes that we need," Cooper said.

Hear his comments here:

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The governor denounced violence and said he will continue to provide state support as requested.

"George Floyd's brother visited the site of the murder and spoke yesterday," Cooper said. "He had a powerful message to those working in his brother's name: Stop the violence. End the destruction. Let's do this another way," he said.

The governor added that peaceful protesters had an important message.

"We cannot lose sight of the reason nonviolent protesters are in the streets," Cooper said. "They are calling out the systemic injustices that black people ... have endured for generations."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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