The Good: Confederate Statues Are Gone

After years of waiting on bureaucracy’s slow crawl to greenlight the removal of half a dozen Confederate monuments from the state Capitol, protesters took matters into their own hands Friday night, ripping two soldiers from the statue facing Hillsborough Street. One metal soldier was left hanging from by a rope from the Hargett Street signpost, while another was abandoned in front of the Wake County courthouse. The next morning Governor Roy Cooper ordered the removal of remaining monuments, including memorials commemorating the women of the Confederacy and Henry Lawson Wyatt. After plucking the final soldier from his pedestal with a crane on Sunday, crews struggled to figure out how to take down the remainder of the 75-foot obelisk without damaging it for the next two days. Let us know when it’s time for the wrecking ball. 

The Bad: No Phase 3 Yet

North Carolina was initially set to move into phase 3 of the state’s tiered reopening Friday, but that’s probably not going to happen given recent spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. We thought we had mostly flattened the curve, but Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen admitted Monday that “key metrics are moving in the wrong direction.” Cases have been on the rise since the stay-at-home order lifted in May and restaurants were allowed to reopen at limited capacity. Hospitalizations, which had previously leveled at about 500, peaked at 915 patients as of Tuesday and more than 900 ventilators in use (luckily we have another 2,000 on hand). If trends continue, a report from UNC claims we only have about seven weeks before hospitals are overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to push for bars and gyms to reopen and think Cooper “should stop his secret reopening process.”

The Awful: Raleigh Police Department

After weeks of peaceful protests, Raleigh Police arrested a 17-year-old Black protester claiming she had tried to assault a police officer. But a viral video of the arrest didn’t show the alleged assault: Instead, it showed a police officer grabbing the girl by the arm and dragging her across the pavement. As she was handcuffed and arresters, other protesters around shouted at the cops, “she’s 17!” An adult protester was also arrested.

The next morning, the charges were dropped. Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, who is usually defensive of officers’ conduct, said she would be launching an internal investigation of the incident after seeing concerning footage from the officer’s body camera. She’s also petitioning the courts to release the footage so we can see for ourselves what led to the teen’s arrest. 

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