Raleigh police arrested two protesters, one a minor, on the eve of Juneteenth. A video of the incident posted to Facebook shows officers dragging a young Black protester on the ground before taking her away while other protesters shout, “She’s 17.” 

Police claim at least one of the protesters assaulted an officer, but the alleged assault, as well as the lead up to the arrest, is not shown in the video.

Protesters gathered downtown Thursday night, as they have for the last three weeks since the death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. 

The video begins with an officer dragging a young Black protester by the arm several feet on the ground before forcing her up by the shoulders. Another protester wraps her arms around the first protester, with her head to her chest, before being yanked away by an officer.

A cop is seen approaching the person filming and says, “Back up. Time to go.” 

The first protester is seen being handcuffed and walked by police to a prisoner transport van as other protesters around her shout, “She’s 17,” and “She didn’t do anything.” 

After the first protester is placed inside the police van, other demonstrators are seen gathering around the van, shouting at the police officers. One woman can be heard screaming, “This is why we’re out here.” 

In a series of Tweets, the Raleigh Police Department responded to the incident Thursday night stating one of the protesters had assaulted an officer. 

“Officers arrested a juvenile female who assaulted a law enforcement officer as he tried to get a group to stop obstructing traffic,” RPD stated. “An accompanying adult female was detained and cited for resist, delay, obstruct; she was subsequently released.”

This version of events was disputed by on Twitter. One tweet claims the protester was standing in front of a cop on a motorcycle prior to being dragged away and arrested. That is not shown in the video. 

“Come the fuck out for Juneteenth tomorrow in downtown Raleigh,” the Tweet ends. 

Following the incident, Raleigh City Council member Saige Martin tweeted he would be bringing forward a plan to defund and reallocate police funds “to truly focus on the safety, wellbeing, and health of our black community.”

“Let’s get one thing straight: we DO NOT arrest peaceful protestors in the City of Raleigh,” Martin wrote. “Both individuals detained this evening are black. Both are queer. One is a minor. This conduct is disgusting.”

In response to Martin’s tweet, the Raleigh Police Union wrote, “Maybe it’s more prudent for a city council member to get the facts before making a baseless statement…again…”

“You have a fraction of a video,” the RPD union account tweeted at Martin. “It’s inappropriate for a city council member to lambast city employees before you have all the facts. Shows a lack of decorum.”

Another user responds, “Please post the facts for us to see!”

Watch the video here. WARNING: Disturbing content. 

This is a developing story. 


Follow Raleigh News Editor Leigh Tauss on Twitter or send an email to ltauss@indyweek.com

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One reply on “Two Protesters, One a Minor, Arrested By Raleigh Police on the Eve of Juneteenth”

  1. The disturbing part was how that crowd was acting! Their was absolutely nothing peaceful about it. And the young woman screaming about the officers hand on his gun is obviously blinded by her own racism. The officer was freeing the strap on his baton from his belt as it had wrapped around his gear twice. Now as for the suspect being 17, so what! Minors are not exempt from league ramifications due to their conduct. What I saw from the video was an appropriate response by officers securing the scene of an arrest from an unruly mob of demonstrators using profanity and provocative gestures. The only true video will come from the officers body cam that was allegedly assaulted by the minor. Keep in mind the legal definition of assault in a case like this may differ from what you may perceive it to be. If contact is made while intentionally impeding the officers path an assault has occurred. Peacefully protests are a protected right. The entire protest loses constitutional protection the moment it no longer qualifies as 100% peaceful. At that point it becomes a public safety concern and measures to disperse the crowd should begin. Blocking traffic is not a peaceful protest, it is illegal. Preforming illegal acts are not considered peaceful! Pulling down statues is not peaceful, vandalism is illegal! Regardless of the cause acting outside of what is league is crossing the line of peaceful and shal no longer be protected by the constitution. I will consider peaceful protesters truly peaceful when they start removing and turning it the agitators instead of stand beside them, shielding and protecting them. If they are in the crowds then their behavior reflects directly on the whole crowd!

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