Raleigh, N.C. — Protesters who gathered and began the night with speeches and a peaceful march turned violent Saturday night, breaking windows and spray-painting property in downtown Raleigh.
Raleigh police also announced the arrest of at least three people in the downtown area due to the violence and damage to businesses.
A couple of hundred people gathered at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh around 7:30 p.m.
The crowd began marching through the downtown streets shortly after 8 p.m. Protesters tried to remove barriers along streets and confronted police who were standing guard at various locations. Others began breaking windows and glass doors, including at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey on Wilmington Street.
Some protesters were firing flares as they were marching, and there were reports of firecrackers set off within the crowd.
On a stop outside the downtown Raleigh Police Department headquarters on Cabarrus Street, some protesters threw some water bottles.
Around 9:30 p.m., Raleigh police posted on Twitter that arrests were being made because “protesters are now breaking windows and damaging property” and that the march was “now an unlawful assembly.”
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin put an 11 p.m. curfew in effect for the entire city in place. It was scheduled to run until 5 a.m. Sunday morning. A number of streets in downtown Raleigh will be closed through the weekend – from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Monday – in expectation of possible protests. The closures will keep vehicular traffic off of:
- Fayetteville Street between Morgan and Davie streets
- Hargett Street between Salisbury and Wilmington streets
- Martin Street between Salisbury and Wilmington streets
Many of the people in the crowd were dressed in black and were protesting the grand jury results earlier this week in the death of Breonna Taylor.