PHOTOS: Demonstrators gather across the Triangle to protest death of George Floyd
Fayetteville Police are responding to reports of looting at the Cross Creek Mall after protesters flooded the streets of the city earlier in the day.
When ABC11 arrived at the scene, looters could be seen fleeing from JC Penneys and speeding away in vehicles.
Protesters broke the windows of a CVS pharmacy in downtown Raleigh and were seen looting at the store.
Most protesters have moved out of the downtown Fayetteville area leaving many businesses ruined. Fayetteville police and firefighters are on scene.
Tyler Hair, the owner of Cotton River and Company, tells ABC11 that he may not open up after this. He says the toll of COVID-19 and this property damage are too much to bear.
AFTERMATH: Tyler Hair, the owner of Cotton River and Company in downtown Fayetteville, tells @ABC11_WTVD he may not open up after this. He says the toll of #COVID19 and this property damage are too much. https://t.co/ym20ga4Hpd pic.twitter.com/EZ4Mm951Db— Michael Lozano (@MLozanoABC11) May 31, 2020
Peaceful demonstrations of George Floyd's death have turned violent Saturday night as protesters have started to loot businesses and buildings in both downtown Raleigh and Fayetteville areas.
Protests in Raleigh started turning tense with protesters throwing bottles and large rocks at police. Officers in riot gear used smoke to disperse the crowd, sending protesters running down the street. Protesters told ABC11 crews at the scene that officers were using tear gas. Traffic was blocked by protesters in the street.
Fayetteville police are closing downtown streets due to protests. Drivers are asked to avoid the downtown area.
Some individuals have broken into the Market House and set fire to the building in downtown Fayetteville. A thick smoke can be seen coming out of the doors.
Protesters have spread out across Capital Blvd., shutting down traffic in both directions near downtown
Raleigh Police has warned protesters to refrain from throwing items at police.
We want to protect your right to protest. Please keep it peaceful and refrain from throwing items at police.— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) May 30, 2020
As thousands of demonstrators gather in downtown Raleigh over the death of George Floyd, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker held a news conference on Saturday evening addressing the protests.
During the presser, Baker told the public that his officers would not interfere as long as protests remain peaceful.
"Our objective is to be prepared for what can happen and hope that it doesn't," said Baker. "We're prepared for whatever is going to happen today and tonight and hopefully we won't have to, that's why you won't see them (officers), they're inside and they're ready to go. But we're going to give them space so people can express just how they feel about what is going on."
Music artist J. Cole was among the attendees of a George Floyd protest in Fayetteville, his hometown, on Saturday.
He was spotted in a crowd of protesters downtown, before the group headed down Hay Street.
Durham Sheriff Clarence Birkhead issued the following statement about the Durham protest:
On Friday, I conveyed my feelings about the situation and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Saturday afternoon, residents from throughout the Durham community gathered together to collectively do the same and peacefully protest injustices.
I am proud of these men and women from all races and backgrounds and how they came together to peacefully let their voices be heard regarding needed change in the criminal justice system. The system is not perfect, it is not equitable for all, and it is in need of reform.
As the Sheriff of Durham County, I support their right to assemble to express their outrage in a peaceful manner. The fact they did so while also expressing their love for all humanity indicates we can make the needed changes happen together.
We are all one community, one Durham.
Protesters have started gathering in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street.
Raleigh mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin posted a statement from several mayors in North Carolina about the death of George Floyd saying it was a "horrific murder" and "act of unspeakable violence"
Grateful for my fellow mayors across North Carolina for working together on this and committing to creating change in our cities. I ask that all Raleigh residents participating in peaceful protest events today stay safe and wear a mask to protect themselves from COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/JmL4Cxf0WJ— Mary-Ann Baldwin (@maryannbaldwin) May 30, 2020
Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin joined the protesters in Fayetteville.
Durham protesters headed toward the Durham Police Department downtown.
Protesters are gathering at the Walmart off of Skibo Road in Fayetteville. Walmart, Cross Creek Mall, and other local shops in the area have closed.
Couple dozen people have gathered at the Walmart off of Skibo Road. @CityOfFayNC advised nearby businesses about the protest. Walmart, Cross Creek Mall, and other local shops have closed. @ABC11_WTVD pic.twitter.com/GBXhY7lcJZ— Michael Lozano (@MLozanoABC11) May 30, 2020
Demonstrators are peacefully marching down Mangum Street and are now at Chapel Hill Street.
JUST IN: @Walmart on Skibo Rd. closes for rest of day. Employees tell me they were sent home early because the store is the site of the planned protest in @CityOfFayNC. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/IVeX3VgZFZ— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) May 30, 2020
Mayor Mitch Colvin held a press conference regarding planned demonstrations in Fayetteville.
Protesters are gathering near Chapel Hill Street and Main Street.
Durham County Sheriff Birkhead, Raleigh police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown react to George Floyd video
'I was incensed': Durham police chief says she was 'hurt' when she saw George Floyd video, could not watch the whole thing
Overnight, several people were arrested in Charlotte while protesting Floyd's death. Those arrested include Charlotte city councilman Braxton Winston.
Charlotte city councilman among several arrested after George Floyd protest turns violent
The white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with murder. Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
He also was accused of ignoring another officer who expressed concerns about Floyd as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe while Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Floyd, who was black, had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a store.
Parents in downtown Raleigh daycare centers were alerted to pick their children up early on Friday around 4 p.m. and county office workers were dismissed ahead of schedule after the Wake County Emergency Operations Center warned of potentially violent protests starting at 6 p.m.
George Floyd rally set for Saturday in Raleigh, following rumors of 'dangerous' protests on Friday
Fayetteville police chief believes Minneapolis officers should be held accountable in George Floyd case
The Associated Press contributed to this report.