Jacob Blake protest in Downtown Raleigh calls for justice; local officials host vigil

Updated Aug. 30

Hundreds protested in Downtown Raleigh Friday night for Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisc., shot by police. Protesters of systemic racism began gathering at 7 p.m. at the Wake County Courthouse and in Downtown Raleigh.

WUNC reports demonstrators also retold the story of Keith Collins, a man shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer. On Thursday, the Wake County district attorney said the police officer acted lawfully and would not face charges.

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin issued a citywide curfew in advance of the planned protests, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, citing concerns after previous peaceful protests were followed by property damage in downtown, an action criticized by some activists, according to the News & Observer.

Most of the 14 arrests on Friday were for curfew violation, according to ABC11.

Reports from the protest say police were in riot gear at 10 p.m., but largely stayed behind protesters. As the 10 p.m. curfew arrived, the News & Observer reports, there was some “scattered vandalism.”

Bill King, the president of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, tweeted “After last sweep with my team through to evaluate, downtown Raleigh came through with minimal damage and no major clean up or volunteer efforts needed. Lot of work went into preparation but we are doing fine after some powerful protests for social justice.”

A “Shine the Light” prayer vigil was held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Moore Square by local elected officials (city council, county commissioners), local faith and business leaders. The city release said the event was for “unity and social peace in our community,” organized by Shaw School of Divinity, the City of Raleigh and Shop Local Raleigh.

The event was criticized by some for being performative by elected officials on the #ShineRaleigh hashtag, rather than addressing systemic racism through policy change. Read reporting from the event at the News & Observer.

Catch up on earlier protests: [previously

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Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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