[NB: this post has been and may continue to be substantially updated as new information is made available]
Protesters of the recent grand jury decisions, in addition to Chapel Hill anarchist groups, rallied in Durham on Friday night. After gathering in the CCB plaza, they eventually moved on to block the freeway, marching through the streets near the DPAC and the police station for hours before some thirty people were arrested following vandalism and failure to disperse. There was only minor vandalism and property damage, but after the events were over the DPD did find an unused Molotov cocktail near Foster and Geer.
I happened to spot a group of protesters from the lobby of the DPAC (John Oliver was pretty great, for the record, although apparently he re-used a lot of material from his last visit):
Note that the particular crowd in this photo appears to include the Chapel Hill groups I talked about previously, easily identified by their signature “cops are liars” banner.
It seems as if a group of Durham residents gathered at the CCB plaza early in the night, showing solidarity in response to recent events elsewhere in the country. They were joined by the Chapel Hill anarchists, and the two groups commingled. Following that, the combined group started marching, eventually blocking traffic and causing minor property damage.
I think it’s worth pointing out here that the Council has been really aggressive in addressing some of the systemic biases that have been identified in the DPD over the past year, and the new policy requiring written consent for vehicular searches is a powerful reaction to the problems in the department. The events following Huerta’s death really brought the issue of racial profiling to the forefront, and there’s been a pretty solid response to the concerns brought to the Council by community leaders, which you can read about in none other than the New York Times.
Oh, and I really dig the bike cop representation here. Way to stay fit and mobile at the same time, DPD.