Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin extended the city’s curfew through Thursday morning despite protesters remaining peaceful the previous two nights.
“Making this decision is incredibly difficult,” Baldwin said in a statement Wednesday. “The call for justice will and must continue. My intent in extending the curfew is to provide safety for those who protest, safety for those who protect us, and safety for all who call Raleigh home.”
As with the previous nights, the curfew will begin at 8:00 p.m. and remain in place until 5:00 a.m. Thursday.
Several hundred protesters converged peacefully in front of City Hall Wednesday before marching to the Governor’s Mansion, where they sat silently in the streets for eight minutes in recognition of the time George Floyd spent pinned under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee. After sundown, a smaller group of about 100 protesters marched through downtown before disbanding about two hours past curfew.
Police kept their distance and did not interfere with the demonstrations other than to briefly kneel in solidarity. Officers in riot gear remained staged in front of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and courthouses downtown.
No protesters were arrested, Baldwin said, nor were there any injuries or damage to public property.
“For the second straight night, the protests were peaceful and without the threat of violence,” she said. “We saw differing voices coming together and sharing, listening, and learning. This is exactly how we begin to build a new way together.”
In a statement, the Raleigh Police Department said that while protesters violated curfew, the RPD “utilized its discretion and allowed the group to go home rather than confronting them to make arrests.”
Under the curfew, residents are required to stay home unless they fall under the following exemptions, per the city’s website:
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other public employees in the performance of their job duties;
- Doctors, nurses, employees of hospitals, and other medical facilities in the performance of their job duties;
- On-duty military personnel, whether state or federal;
- On-duty employees of public utilities, public transportation;
- Newspaper, magazine, radio broadcasting, and television broadcasting corporations;
- Package delivery companies which package goods and deliver them to homes, including but not limited to Amazon, FedEx, and UPS and their employees while on duty.
Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at email@example.com.
DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER. Support independent local journalism by joining the INDY Press Club today. Your contributions will keep our fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle, coronavirus be damned.