No charges, arrests made on Friday night after Raleigh protest canceled, police say

Josh Chapin Image
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Raleigh demonstrators demand justice for Walter Wallace Jr., man shot and killed by Philadelphia police
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Demonstrators gathered Friday night in Raleigh in solidarity with Philadelphia protestors demanding justice for Walter Wallace Jr., who was shot multiple times by Philadelphia police.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin has issued a curfew for Friday night in anticipation of a planned demonstration in solidarity with protests over the death of Walter Wallace Jr in Philadelphia.

The curfew goes into effect at 10 p.m. Friday and will stay in effect until 5 a.m. Saturday. The mayor's office can continue the curfew for further nights, until the declaration is rescinded. The mayor's office originally said the curfew would go into effect at 11 p.m. but then issued a correction.

An organization that identified itself as being associated with the protest -- Smash Racism Raleigh -- tweeted at 8 p.m. that the march had been canceled.

ABC11 crews in Raleigh saw a group of only about 15-20 people at the designated starting point of the march.

The Raleigh Police Department said they made no charges or arrests for trespassing; however, one person was cited for a seatbelt violation.

The curfew in Raleigh Saturday night does not apply to:

  • Law enforcement officers, licensed security guards, firefighters and other public employees in the performance of their job duties
  • Doctors, nurses, and employees of hospitals and other medical facilities in the performance of their job duties
  • On-duty military personnel, whether state or federal
  • On-duty employees of public or private utilities, public transportation companies, and newspaper, magazine, radio broadcasting, and television broadcasting corporations
  • Package and freight delivery companies which package goods and deliver them to homes, and businesses operating lawfully under the curfew, including but not limited to Amazon, FedEx and UPS and their employees while on duty
  • On-site manufacturing and operations centers
  • Individuals walking their dogs or other pets outdoors within five hundred (500) feet of their house or dwelling

Who organized Raleigh's planned protest Friday? Community activists say they don't know

42 & Lawrence was given a quote of $2,500 to board up a row of windows in anticipation of the protest. Several spots like City Market, Skyhouse and the AT&T building are taking the plunge and boarding up.

Most store owners were wary on Thursday about speaking out after enduring so much these last few months. There was looting and vandalism back in May during the George Floyd demonstrations.

"I hope it's gonna be peaceful. But I can't take it for granted," said Debbie Holt, owner of Clyde Cooper's BBQ on Wilmington Street.

It's only been a few weeks since Holt reopened Clyde's. She was shut down by the pandemic and May's peaceful protest that became destructive.

This week, the Raleigh Police Department released more than 500 videos capturing interactions between officers and demonstrators. In one clip, you hear several loud bangs as the two are clashing.

There have been many peaceful marches since then, people have been taken to the streets pushing for social justice and police accountability.

Just over a month ago, on Sept. 26, a demonstration was held in Raleigh following a grand jury's decision not to charge the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

The protest began peacefully around 3 p.m. but became destructive as the night went on.

"What Raleigh experienced tonight was wrong and had very little to do with any call for justice," Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said at the time. "The City prepared an opportunity for those who wanted to protest peacefully, and once again, vandals (mostly white) used this as an excuse to incite violence and cause destruction of our downtown business community. Any message of support for Breonna Taylor was usurped by protestors who do not care about peace; they came here with the goal of destruction."

It's unclear who or what group is organizing Friday night's demonstration in Raleigh. One flier reads "Justice for Walter Wallace Jr -- In solidarity with Philadelphia." But, another flier making the rounds on social media is plastered with a jack-o-lantern with a devilish grin -- describing "a night of mischief."

ABC11 reached out community organizers and activists who have attended previous social justice demonstrations this year and they said they did not know who was behind Friday's planned demonstrations, and did not plan on attending, though a couple added they would provide bail support should protestors get arrested.

Community organizer Zainab Baloch said it currently doesn't sound like it's going to be a safe environment.

"We don't know what's happening, and we don't know who's putting it on," she said. "Anytime you have a protest like that, it automatically should raise a lot of red flags."

Raleigh police officials say the department does not release details regarding public security operational plans or tactical strategies.

The Raleigh mayor was met with heavy criticism by business owners and citizens back in May for not putting a curfew in place sooner rather than later. She responded saying the city was "unprepared."