Raleigh mayor says Breonna Taylor protesters were usurped by vandals during Saturday night demonstration; 12 arrests made

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ByAna Rivera via WTVD logo
Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Raleigh as the sun set for the second social justice demonstration of Saturday.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Raleigh as the sun set for the second social justice demonstration of Saturday.

Here are the latest updates concerning the demonstrations:


10:30 a.m.

Raleigh mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown gave an update about the demonstrations downtown.

"We do not have the ability nor would we want to stop people from assembling peacefully and speaking but there were those, mostly white, who used this as an excuse to incite violence and cause destruction of our downtown business community," said Mayor Baldwin. "Any message of support for Breonna Taylor was usurped by protesters who do not care about peace. They came here with a goal of destruction."

During the news conference, Mayor Baldwin said the previously implemented curfew was rescinded effective immediately.

WATCH: Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin gives update on Raleigh Breonna Taylor demonstration

The mayor said the Saturday 11 p.m. curfew is now rescinded.

Officials said the crowd dispersed before the 11 p.m. curfew but 12 arrests were made.

"If people are encouraging us to violate people's constitutional rights, no we're doing that but we're also not going to allow people to vandalize and destruct our community," said Mayor Baldwin.

According to the chief, members of the crowd marching throughout downtown began breaking glass, setting fires and defacing property. Just after 9:30 p.m., police said the crowd was told it had become an unlawful assembly due to the activities taking place.

"They're different people each time," said Chief Deck-Brown on those who gathered downtown for demonstrations. "Clearly, some of the tagging that we saw last night was indicative that they were anarchists and pretty much...the symbolism that was out there. And so for that reason, we made sure that we made the arrests accordingly and we'll continue to do so. There is no tolerance for that type of behavior in our city."

WATCH: Raleigh police chief, mayor address arrests made during Breonna Taylor demonstrations

Chief Deck-Brown said charges included included public disturbance, unlawful assembly, resist and delay, unsafe movement starting/stopping, failure to disperse and assault on a law enforcement officer.

7:30 a.m.

Damage cleanup is beginning in downtown Raleigh following Saturday's demonstration.

"Of course it makes me sad. I mean, it makes me sad for people who are suffering the injustice and it makes me sad for the business owners who want to thrive and want to have a great downtown," said Raleigh resident Jane Howell.

12:20 a.m.

"Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin issued the following statement:

"What Raleigh experienced tonight was wrong and had very little to do with any call for justice. 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.We as a Council are seeking understanding and compassion. We want to bring our community together. We commend the groups who gathered to peacefully protest this afternoon. Their message was clear - they are asking for equity and safety for people of color. We want to work together to achieve these goals.I am urging our community not to judge the peaceful protestors by the actions of those who came to Raleigh tonight with an agenda of destruction. Their goal was simply to cause chaos. We responded quickly and made multiple arrests. For those who want peace, we are here to work with you."

RELATED: Durham Breonna Taylor protest was hijacked by group of white rioters trying to co-opt the racial justice movement, mayor says


11 p.m.

For the most part, it seems demonstrators have dispersed from downtown Raleigh prior to the curfew that went into effect at 11 p.m.

The citywide curfew will continue until 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

9:45 p.m.

Raleigh Police Department announced that officers are beginning to arrest demonstrators.

Around 9:40 p.m., officers began following crowds down Fayetteville Street toward the NC State Capitol building announcing over loudspeaker that the gathering is 'unlawful protest' due to some people "breaking windows and damaging property."

The number of how many that have been arrested at this time are unknown.

The citywide curfew does not go into effect for Raleigh until 11 p.m.

9:15 p.m.

Demonstrators moved from the sheriff's department to Raleigh Police Department's downtown precinct.

RPD officers are stationed in riot gear outside the old courthouse.

9 p.m.

Demonstrators have set up a projector across from the Wake County Sheriff Department with rotating messages of "Black Lives Matter".

8:15 p.m.

The group, mostly wearing all black, began to mobilize and chant "Black Lives Matter".

7:30 p.m.

Groups are beginning to gather again in downtown Raleigh for the second demonstration of the day. ABC11 crews on the ground say there are about 100 people so far in attendance.

3 p.m.

Hundreds gathered at the steps of the Wake County Courthouse in the first of two demonstrations in downtown Raleigh on Saturday.

Rolanda Byrd, the mother of Akiel Denkins, was one of hundreds that made an appearance at the 'Rally Against Corruption' event early Saturday afternoon. Denkins was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer on February 29, 2016.

Byrd, joined by Raleigh activist Kerwin Pittman, said to the crowd, "As long as I have breath in my body, and as long as my family can stand, we will be out here to represent these families that are losing their loved ones and will always be here to help with screaming their names, standing in solidarity against these corrupt cops."

"We need reform here, we want reform and we will not stop until we get it," Byrd closed out her statement.

Akiel Denkins' mother makes appearance at demonstration in downtown Raleigh

Many of the fellow speakers called upon attendees to vote in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

The demonstrations follow shortly after protests erupted across the country following a grand jury's decision not to charge the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

Saturday morning, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin announced that a curfew will be in effect for the city starting at 11 p.m. and will continue into 5 a.m. Sunday morning.

Road closures have since been put in place for the following streets from 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept 26 until 7 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28:

  • Fayetteville Street between Morgan Street and Davie Street
  • Hargett Street between Salisbury Street and Wilmington Street
  • Martin Street between Salisbury Street and Wilmington Street