On Saturday evening, about 1,000 people gathered in downtown Raleigh for what began as a peaceful demonstration marking the murder of George Floyd and protesting police violence. Within a few hours, however, things had taken a turn toward the chaotic. Police unleashed tear gas and rubber bullets; some protesters smashed windows and started fires. By the night’s end, few buildings were left unscathed. 

Sunday night saw an even more aggressive police presence and defiant protesters who came knowing what was in store. 

The INDY’s reporters and photographers blanketed downtown Raleigh this weekend, covering these events as they unfolded. Here, we want to tell this story as it happened—as they experienced it, from different vantage points, at different times and in different places. What they witnessed was joyful, moving, powerful, discomfiting, and frightening. 

This is how we saw two chaotic nights in downtown Raleigh. 

Saturday, May 30

5:00 p.m.  Protesters gather in front of the Wake County Courthouse; the speeches are difficult to hear. —Jordan Green

5:09  Chants of “I can’t breathe” come from well over 300 people scattered along Fayetteville Street. —Charlie McGee

5:22  A new chant—“Fuck Trump”—rises in volume. —JG

5:35  Black community members speak about George Floyd’s death and what it means to them. “If y’all don’t see the fuckin’ pain of these families that police be leavin’ behind, the pain of these kids that they leave behind, the pain of the brothers and sisters they leave behind, what the fuck is y’all out here for?” one asks. —CM

5:48  The mother of Keith Collins, who was shot and killed by Raleigh police earlier this year, is brought to the stage. A representative of national NAACP President Derrick Johnson stands behind Collins’s mother and delivers an emotional speech: “He was shot one time, two times, three times, six, seven, eight, nine …. On behalf of the national president of the national NAACP, Derrick Johnson, he told me to deliver one message to the people in the city of Raleigh today, and that message is, ‘We are done dying.’” —CM

6:00  Protesters begin marching north on Fayetteville Street, eventually circling past the General Assembly building. —JG

6:21  Protesters are social distancing on sidewalks in solidarity with protesters marching on Hillsborough Street. —Jade Wilson

6:30  Several hundred gather at the Old Capitol grounds, chanting while police keep their distance. Most are wearing masks and holding handmade signs. There are children present. Autumn Ashbury, who works at the state Department of Revenue, says she is there “because I cannot escape my Black skin. I’m not a thug. What President Trump is doing, that’s a dog-whistle. He’s a thug. He’s the biggest criminal in America.” —Leigh Tauss 

6:39  Protesters make a pit stop in front of the Wake County Public Safety Center. —CM

The crowd in front of the Old Capitol Building chants, “No justice, no peace.” One Black family holds up handmade signs naming George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (who was killed by Louisville police in May), and Ahmaud Arbery (who was shot by white men while jogging). A young girl in a pink facemask holds up a sign reading, “I can’t breathe.” —LT

6:43  The leading segment of the initial wave of protesters is on the move again, walking near Hargett and Salisbury, loudly chanting, “George Floyd” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” —CM 

6:45  Two groups of protesters converge on Salisbury Street in front of the Confederate monument on the Capitol grounds. Organizer Kerwin Pittman leads a chant, “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” Cops keep their distance. —LT

6:47  Protesters climb the Confederate monument and raise their fists. Cheers and “Black Lives Matter” chants break out. Protesters start directing traffic. Signs: “Stop killing our people”; “Silence is the enemy.” —Paul Blest

6:52  We hear someone say that cops are teargassing people on the other side of the Old Capitol Building and make our way towards Jones Street. —PB

6:55  We hear cheering at the Museum of Natural Sciences. When we get there, a guy is on his knee proposing to his girlfriend next to the globe. A young Black woman rolls a cooler through the crowd handing out water. —PB

6:55  At the front of the line, our ship captains are leading a vibrant chant of “We gon’ breathe today.” One Black man next to me with dreads and a skateboard smokes a blunt. —CM

6:56  WRAL captures video of law enforcement firing tear gas into what appears to be a peaceful crowd of protesters. It is unclear what provoked the police. —Sara Pequeño

7:00  Several hundred protesters march down Dawson Street to Capital Boulevard, blocking traffic and chanting. Cars honk and drivers raise their fists in solidarity. They make their way nearly to the Wade Avenue exit. —LT

7:01  The front of the line is still 300 people deep—likely much deeper—and has occupied Capital Boulevard, but people are more fragmented. Police vehicles are backing up and shut down traffic. —CM  

7:06 Protesters are seen running eastward on Davie Street near the courthouse after police shoot tear gas. —JG

7:12 The front section’s pace has quickened. Eventually, the group huddles in front of a U-Haul dealership, the chants continuing, before returning downtown. —CM

7:13  More tear gas at McDowell and Davie. Protesters respond by throwing water bottles at the police. —JG

7:15  We’re part of a large group making its way down Jones Street away from the legislative building. Cars are honking as we pass; there’s lots of cheering. It’s completely peaceful. —PB

7:15  Police blockade the road near Wade Avenue and ask protesters to turn around. They comply and head back downtown, walking the opposite way up Wilmington Street through traffic, which has stopped dead in the sea of people. —LT

7:25  There’s a smaller group in front of the Old Capitol as police surround the building. Protesters on the Confederate monument chant, “Black lives matter” and yell, “They don’t give a fuck about us.” —PB

7:32  “Oh, we takin’ over Raleigh now?” one protester says. The protest wave splits in two. —CM

7:39  One section of the now-split protest crosses the intersection of Wilmington and Hargett. The group engages two RPD vehicles; some protesters rattle the cars’ bodies as they pass. —CM 

7:44  The group moves back to the county courthouse. There are more speeches, but this section soon departs. —CM

7:48  Three officers ride horses near the front of the section on Fayetteville Street as it approaches the Raleigh Convention Center. Some protesters are throwing traffic cones and bottles. —CM 

7:50  The protesters who sent the horse police fleeing shove over orange construction barricades; they are laughing with each other. Worth noting: They are nearly all white guys. —CM

7:56  Tear gas is deployed in front of the convention center as speeches begin. From my vantage point on high ground, I can see no provocative actions. WRAL footage suggests the tear-gas canister was dropped from the roof. —CM 

8:00  Groups of protesters begin to break off; some gather at the courthouse chanting, “Take Your Freedom.” Another group converges near the Red Hat Amphitheater, and a third forms a human chain and blocks Salisbury near Davie Street. The protesters then break into a spontaneous, joyous dance in the middle of the street.  —LT 

8:05  A Black mother pleads for calm in front of police officers. —JW

8:12  Protesters circle around cars and motorcycles, singing and dancing across from a standoff taking shape at Davie and Salisbury. —JW 

8:15  A standoff ensues between police and protesters, who block the road and surround about a dozen officers. —JG

8:17  Protesters form a chain around the officers on Davie Street, linking hands. Some shout at the cops. Others stand silently. The sun is starting to set, and the clouds are backlit like a Renaissance painting behind the downtown skyscape. Some pops go off that sound like fireworks. —LT

8:20  The crowd at Davie Street quickly breaks up after one woman shouts, “They are boxing us in,” motioning to a line of approaching police officers. —LT 

8:20  Another standoff at Cabarrus and McDowell is dispersed after several cans of tear gas are thrown into the crowd of protesters. —JW

8:23  A much smaller group of protesters remains on Davie Street. A Fuquay-Varina man with “All Lives Matter” scrawled in green marker on a white T-shirt stands beside a woman in Hawaiian-print shorts, which could indicate affiliation with Boogaloo, a fringe right-wing ideology that wants to initiate a second civil war. I ask why he wrote that phrase on his shirt at a Black Lives Matter protest. He responds, “I dunno.” —LT

8:36  “If the police turn this violent …” Protesters, gathered back at the courthouse, prepare for war but maintain a message of peaceful demonstration. —CM 

8:37  Tensions are high at Davie Street as more protesters surround officers, some of whom are holding batons. A water bottle is thrown into the crowd, but nothing happens. Suddenly, a man who has been revving a motorcycle loses control, and the bike falls over. Several people fall to the ground, but it’s unclear if anyone was struck. —LT

8:42  A breaking point: As protesters stream from the courthouse steps to Davie Street, a police vehicle speeds through into the crowd, followed by an apparent decoy tear-gas launch. A battle at the courthouse steps begins. —CM 

8:44  Police, with no clear provocation, unload tear gas at the intersection of Davie and Fayetteville. —CM 

8:45  At least 60 cops in riot gear and batons line up and form a perimeter near Poole’s Diner on McDowell Street. A small group of protesters forms around them. A woman shouts, “Is this gathering illegal?” Nearby, one young Black man in a medical facemask paces the street with his hands held up. —LT

8:54  The crowd at the county courthouse laments its failed effort at a peaceful engagement with the police, saying that all violence was incited by the police: “We don’t even have guns.” —CM 

8:58  Back at Davie and Salisbury, police don helmets and riot gear. Someone shouts through a megaphone for the protesters to keep moving. Suddenly tear gas rises at the corner of Davie and Fayetteville. I hear things smashing and begin tearing up from the gas. Tear gas canisters litter the pavement, and a cop kicks it up the street as someone yells, “These are our streets. Fucking fascists.” The red police lights glow through the clouds of gas. —LT

9:00  Riot police unveil the first appearance of “less-lethal guns.” They’re 15 minutes into an effort to converge on the protesters who’d seized the courthouse, ambushing them in sporadic gaps from all sides with tear gas. —CM 

9:02  After firing tear gas, police retreat from Davie and Salisbury, eliciting cheers from protesters. —JG

9:03  I see the night’s first act of vandalism. A man—who is not Black—in a ski mask smashes a window of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Other protesters scold him. A light-skinned man in a gas mask tells me to back off and not take pictures. —LT

9:05  Protesters pelt the Wake County Public Safety Center. At least a handful of windows are busted out. Police respond with heavy tear gas. Protesters (and journalists) flee. —JG

9:06  In between tear gas ambushes, protesters at the courthouse prepare for the next round. A few commit the first blatant acts of property damage this section of protesters has indulged in. —CM

9:08  Chaos on Davie Street quickly escalates as protesters throw rocks and bricks through multiple windows of the Sheriff’s Office. Others light fireworks. It’s hard to tell where the cops are staged, but multiple canisters of tear gas are suddenly deployed in the street nearby. Protesters try to run, but the gas consumes the crowd. My skin and throat burn, I cannot see, and I am running blind away from the toxic fog. —LT

9:20  Protesters fleeing tear gas at the Public Safety Center (and probably others) spill onto Fayetteville Street and begin smashing windows, chanting, “When the shooting stops, the looting stops.” —JG

9:21  I make my way to Fayetteville Street following groups of protesters. Already, windows are being smashed and businesses are being broken into. I watch a white man in a ski mask attempt to knock out the security camera at First National Bank. —LT

9:22  A police armored vehicle passes through Davie Street and Fayetteville. Protesters barricade the street. —JG

9:25  A small group of several dozen protesters smashes the windows at Jimmy John’s, Happy and Hale, and Fire Wok using bricks from a nearby construction site. A man with a baseball bat enters Jimmy John’s and starts smashing the counter. Others go inside to steal bags of chips. Nearly every business on the street is soon targeted. —LT

9:27  After 45 minutes of being flooded with tear gas, protesters snap. They unload on the Wake County Courthouse entrance with fireworks—a consistent counter-measure of the night—and leave a mark. —CM

9:30  A wall of tear gas begins to rise at the other end of Fayetteville Street as the smaller group of protesters continues to smash windows. No cops are in sight. —LT 

9:33  Riot officers fire multiple tear-gas canisters at either side of my feet as I stand near the intersection of Fayetteville and Martin, visibly donning my press credentials, 15 feet away from scattered protesters. —CM 

9:39  The smaller group of protesters on Fayetteville Street gets hold of a flag and attempts to burn it, but after multiple attempts to create a blowtorch, the fire does not take. Instead, a man grabs the charred flag and attempts to use it to smash a window. —LT

9:40  A SWAT team arrives on a public transit bus. —CM 

9:42  A standoff is underway in front of the courthouse between cops in riot gear and protesters. There’s a grapefruit-size hole in the glass at the front entrance. —JG

9:46  Cops finally gain a dominant position at the courthouse’s mangled entrance. I cannot report one dispersal order issued by any officer before using force on a protest crowd all day. —CM 

9:54  Protesters lounge on either side of the courthouse, preparing for the next battle. They pass out snacks (they offer me one, I decline), and some apparently are getting drunk. —CM 

9:58  I go back to the INDY’s office on Wilmington Street to get some water. While inside, a brick smashes through the glass window. Scared, I hide behind a retaining wall inside the office until the looters are gone. I step outside but immediately inhale more gas and retreat back into the building. I enter the main lobby of the building and listen as rioters enter the office. I hear smashing. I take the elevator to the basement and wait. —LT

10:00  Lucettegrace owner Daniel Benjamin sees the destruction happening nearby and heads downtown. His business hasn’t been targeted. He stands outside, guarding it as rioters smash the windows of surrounding businesses. Protesters were “strangely” very polite, Benjamin says. “They were asking me if this was my business, and when I said yes, they were giving me essentially props for being out here protecting it and just walking right by to then go smash a window down the street. My twin brother showed up, and we collectively just stood out front until about 6:30 this morning.” —LT

10:00  Fayetteville Street convenience store owner Mohammed (who did not wish to give his last name) gets an alert from his security company that the store has been broken into. He rushes downtown and finds it ransacked. “I found almost 10, 15 people in my store, and they were just literally stealing everything: cigarettes, tobacco, money, cash registers, lottery. They destroyed it—they broke the glasses, broke shields, broke cooler doors. They kind of just destroyed things. They were not protesting. They were destroying.” He remains on guard outside the store until 5:00 a.m. —LT

10:12  After hiding for about 10 minutes, I go back upstairs. I hear a knock on the door; it’s fellow reporter Jordan Green, who had been alerted to my situation. We walk outside and see the rioters have taken a jug of water and a lamp. At this point, only one window is shattered. —LT

10:28  After flooding the crowd with tear gas from their new position, the courthouse cops unleash less-lethal bullets for the first time as protesters refuse to stay scattered. —CM 

10:43  Protesters, armed only with fireworks, rocks, and water bottles, use all available resources to turn away police attacks. —CM 

10:45  I leave downtown, a little shaken. I see another window in the office has been smashed as I drive by. —LT 

10:55  A car drives by about a dozen protesters standing around the corner from the courthouse on Martin Street. The driver and passenger stop to yell at the police from a distance, and they are teargassed without incitement. —CM 

11:05  The Dollar General is in flames. “Ain’t nobody here to stop a fire,” one person laughs. —CM 

11:11  A Black man, about 25, identifying himself as “B,” appears to be deciding between “hits” on buildings most deserving of damage: “I used to look at police and think like, damn, they serve and protect us. Give ’em the benefit even though, you know, I’m a three-time felon. Tonight, that shit made me look way differently at them. I looked a man in his face, one of the officers today, I told him, ‘You gon’ kill me?’ He couldn’t look me back in my face, then he told me right there he could kill me.” —CM

Sunday, May 31

2:00 a.m.  The fire alarm at the INDY office goes off. Looters have broken into the building again, this time stealing a desktop computer and setting fire to two couches. —LT

6:00  By morning, the sprinkler system has been running for four hours and has flooded the office, destroying the remaining electronics. Nearly every exterior window has been smashed. —LT

7:00  Volunteers converge downtown and begin to clean up local businesses. Meghan Boland and her mother, Rachael, help scrub off graffiti from the wall. “It’s really sad,” Meghan says. “It’s really sad, but it’s also really nice to see everyone come out and help.” —LT

9:00  The only business unharmed on the INDY’s block is Taz’s—and that’s because he stood outside all night, armed, multiple people say.  —LT

11:00  Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, and members of the city council address the public. Deck-Brown condemns the violence, noting that 12 people were arrested and five police officers were hospitalized. “Destroying our city is not the answer,” she says, while also saying she will not risk officers’ lives to protect property. —LT

12:00 p.m.  Dozens of volunteers work to clean the streets of glass and debris and board up businesses. —LT

4:00  Governor Cooper calls in the National Guard at the request of local law enforcement in Raleigh and Charlotte. While condemning the violence, Cooper praises the peaceful protesters who demonstrated earlier. The violence is “wrong and must be stopped, but I fear the cry of the people is being drowned out by the noise of these riots,” Cooper says. “Let me be clear about one thing: People are more important than property. Black lives do matter.” —LT

7:00  A group of heavily armed cops in riot gear marches downtown. Several dozen protesters have peacefully gathered, some lying down in the street. The cops fire tear gas at the protesters to clear the streets. Police later state: “We utilized tear gas to move protestors out of the path of an EMS vehicle on its way to an emergency medical call after they refused to move.” Video of the incident does not show an emergency vehicle. —LT

7:30  At least 300 protesters are gathered near the Old Capitol grounds, peacefully chanting, “Black Lives Matter.” —LT

7:44  I arrive at the intersection of Salisbury and Morgan near the Governor’s Mansion as the chanting picks up. One person says, “We need to keep this as peaceful as possible.” A few minutes later, the riot police near the Governor’s Mansion board two GoTriangle buses and ride away. A large white armored vehicle drives by. —Cole Villena

8:00  I head downtown and find a group of several hundred protesters in a standoff with cops in riot gear near the Governor’s Mansion. A helicopter is circling low to the ground. —LT

8:15  A group of protesters links arms and sits on the ground in front of a line of cops in riot gear. Among them is Raleigh pastor Jason Butler, who says he is there to keep the peace. —LT

8:18  Police throw smoke canisters at protesters, who are blocking an intersection near the Governor’s Mansion. —CV

8:25  Officers in riot gear form a perimeter around the street. Most of the protesters march back downtown, with those sitting on the ground acting as human shields. Police do not follow them and slowly back off and regroup down the street. —LT

8:30  A dozen clergy stand in front of the Fayetteville CVS, which was set ablaze last night, arms raised in solidarity. —SP

8:35  Several cops kneel and put on gas masks, sparking concern among protesters. —LT

8:40  The cops march back toward the Old Capitol grounds. I and a group of several dozen protesters follow them. We merge with another group of several hundred already in front of the “To Our Confederate Dead” monument. Another standoff is underway with police as protesters chant in front of the statue with their hands up. —LT

9:00  Someone tosses a rope around the statue. The rope breaks. Police deploy several rounds of tear gas. The crowd screams and scatters. —LT 

9:00  I didn’t see any violence before tear gas was deployed. —SP  

9:07  Protesters return to the monument, but police deploy more tear gas, sending them scattering again. I get my first face full of gas of the night. —LT 

9:15  Cops in riot gear carrying semi-automatic weapons start to clear protesters off the Old Capitol grounds. —LT

9:20  Once again, riot police board GoRaleigh buses near the Confederate monument. A separate group of riot police has started to form a human wall on the lawn in front of the Capitol building, facing Fayetteville Street. —CV

9:23  Protesters begin to cluster where Fayetteville meets Morgan Street. One woman holds up a sign saying, “I can’t breathe.” Police form a line in front of the Old Capitol building, wielding wooden batons. The protesters hold up their hands and chant, “Don’t shoot.” —LT

9:50  Protesters are marching peacefully on the streets bordering the Old Capitol grounds. There are maybe 200 left. They circle back to the Confederate statue and approach a line of riot cops with their arms up. Those in the front sit at the cops’ feet. —LT

10:00–10:30  For about a half-hour, things quiet down. The protesters sit on the ground. When someone gets up and yells at the officers, others tell them to sit down and shut up. The helicopter continues to circle overhead. “I don’t see no riot here, why are you in riot gear?” the protesters chant. —LT 

10:25  News breaks that Mayor Baldwin will declare a curfew in Raleigh beginning Monday. —SP

10:30  About 20 more cops show up. The protesters are mostly still sitting on the ground with their hands up. Some have climbed the Confederate monument. A few are scattered on the Capitol lawn. —LT

10:42  I don’t see what prompts it, but police deploy more tear gas into the crowd of protesters, clearing the street in front of the Confederate monument. A protester throws a red smoke bomb, which an officer kicks away. Slowly, some protesters return and sit again in front of the officers. —LT 

10:46  Police set off a very loud flashbang, sending dozens of protesters running down Hillsborough Street. —LT

11:01  With tear gas still lingering in the air, dozens of cops march down Morgan Street. At this point, there are at least 200 armed law enforcement officers clustered downtown, but the protesters have spread out. —LT

11:02  Someone next to me throws a water bottle from the Capitol building lawn and hits a police officer in the shoulder on Morgan Street. Police respond by throwing a firework into the street and then working their way down Morgan. —LT

11:17  Protesters light a trash bin on fire at the corner of Hargett and Wilmington. Riot cops watch it burn. —LT 

11:31  A squad of riot cops arrives at the fire at the same time as a firetruck, which is briefly blocked by protesters. A block away, another fire is lit using trash bins and newspaper boxes. Protesters circle the fire, including one man who shouts, “Who the fuck is next? Your daughter? Your grandma?” —LT

11:45  Two cars full of riot cops speed up, and protesters begin to run away, screaming. Fireworks explode, and I am struck by something that leaves a purple, circular welt on my knee. It’s a minor injury. Later, Cole Villena picks up a blue rubber object that appears to be a rubber bullet. It is the exact shape and size of the bruise on my knee. —LT

Monday, June 1

12:00 a.m.  Loud flashbangs, tear gas, smoke bombs, and fireworks erupt on Morgan Street. —LT 

12:30  Raleigh police announce that the National Guard has been deployed. —LT

12:34  Riot cops staged in front of the Capitol charge at a small group of protesters on Fayetteville Street, deploying tear gas as they shout, “Go! Go! Go!” Several fireworks and smoke bombs go off as the protesters flee. At this point, there are only about 50 protesters left. —LT

12:43  Three cops charge at and arrest a Black man who is standing on the street. He did not appear to have done anything. While he’s being pulled away, four heavily armed riot cops in camo charge at me while I’m filming, guns pointed directly at me. I hold my hands up in the air as I continue to film them. I leave soon after. —LT

1:30  Law enforcement officers shoot* less-lethal weapons at Ruby Deluxe owner Tim Lemuel, who is giving water and snacks to protesters outside of his business. Video shows Lemuel informing the officers that he rents the property and owns the business. An officer shouts, “The game is over!” and opens fire. —SP

This just took place while we were peacefully handing out water and snacks. These Sheriff’s had visuals on us for hours before they walked over from the Justice Center and did this. Everyone is shook but okay. Someone come get yer girl. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

Posted by Jen Varani on Sunday, May 31, 2020

Raleigh Police Accountability: A Brief History of Failure

On February 29, 2016, Officer D.C. Twiddy fired four shots at Akiel Denkins on Bragg Street, killing him. Twiddy was never charged. Denkins’s mother, Rolanda Byrd, later became the leader of the Police Accountability Community Task Force, which has lobbied for a police oversight board that investigate incidents of police force with subpoena and disciplinary power. 

Although fulfilling this request would require asking the legislature to alter state law, the movement began to gain traction. That September, Raleigh announced the creation of a Citizens Police Academy to give residents an opportunity to experience firsthand police training, and in November, the city started a “Community Conversations Series” to facilitate a dialogue between residents and police officers. The city’s Human Relations Board also added police accountability to its docket. 

Fast forward to 2018: There’s been little tangible progress toward creating a police accountability board. Activists blamed Mayor Nancy McFarlane for failing to act. The Human Relations Committee returned a report unanimously recommending that the city council create a board with investigatory and subpoena powers, but it was never presented to the city council. Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said she opposed any police board, believing it would interfere with officers’ ability to do their jobs.

In April 2019, Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, a man with a history of mental illness, was shot and killed by police. Then, in August, a video of Raleigh police drawing a gun and handcuffing Kazeem Oyeneyin, a Black man, in his own home went viral. That fall, city leaders hosted a series of community discussions to get input on how to move forward. The sessions were attended by many members of the Raleigh Police Department, but nothing happened. A new city council took office in December. 

January 2020 marked a bloody month for the RPD, beginning with the police shooting a man who was accused of trying to steal a dump truck, followed by another viral video of Raleigh cops beating a 22-year-old accused of striking several parked cars while driving. On January 30, Raleigh police shot and killed Keith Dutree Collins after a 911 call accused him of having a gun, which was later found to be a BB gun. 

The following week, the city council voted to create a five-person police review board to examine police policy, though it would have no disciplinary or subpoena power, frustrating activists who called it a step backward and “the illusion of progress.” 

By April, only 10 people had applied to serve on the toothless board, prompting officials to reopen applications through May. —Leigh Tauss

Comment on this story at backtalk@indyweek.com.

*On Tuesday, after this story went to press, WRAL and The News & Observer reported that the law enforcement officers involved in the incident at Ruby Deluxe belonged to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. A spokesman told WRAL that the blasts were “two audible charges without projectiles.”

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