Durham Police Action Report: Protesters Assaulted Police, Tried to Set Fire

Those protests in Durham on December 5th and into the morning of the 6th we not ‘mostly peaceful’ according to the action report released by Durham police.

WNCN has a partial accounting of the report which includes protesters trying to flip a squad car, hitting officers with sticks, throwing rocks at officers, trying to set a fire in a dumpster, shooting off fireworks at officers and one report of a protester attempting to grab an officer’s gun.

The report includes an image of the molotov cocktail found the next morning in the area of the arrests. It also includes social media postings by an anarchist group and one still photo of a YouTube video showing two black youths pointing guns at a police officer’s head.

By the end of the report, the event is not called a demonstration or protest, but instead it was called a riot.

I’ve excerpted some of the report below. Note, some of these people brought CHILDREN with them.

A crowd started to gather around 7 p.m. at the CCB Plaza in downtown Durham. Some people were wearing masks, bandanas, dark clothing and backpacks. They had banners and some had drums. Officers recognized several participants from previous protests at this event. There were several people in the crowd who had gas masks and bags marked with Red Cross symbols and the word “medic” on it. These were not Durham County EMS medics.
The crowd at the bull grew to approximately 250-300 people and there were several children in the crowd. Several people spoke to the crowd and many chanted anti-police rhetoric including “F*** the police.” One speaker told the crowd “We are at war with the police.” The only visible officers at that location were the bicycle officers. (P.4)

***

An officer, in obvious distress, screamed for additional officers to help out after the officer was assaulted and knocked to the ground. At this point, officers responded from all over the city to assist. Protesters started throwing debris, including sticks and
rocks, at officers and one officer was hit in the head with a stick. (P.5-6)

***

Many protesters surrounded an unoccupied white unmarked police cruiser with blue lights flashing in the middle of Mangum Street near the Durham County Jail and DPAC.  Protesters placed several traffic cones and other debris under the police car while chanting, “Flip it. Flip it. Flip it.” Officers were able to disperse the crowd from around the cruiser. (P.7 )

***

The crowd then started moving toward downtown and the protesters started to throw debris in the street. Some protesters were loading bookbags with rocks from railroad tracks. Officers without helmets were told to leave the area at this time for their own protection. (P.8-9)

In a related WNCN article, police note that Anarchists and Occupiers are driving these protests. We see a familiar name in this article below; emphasis added is mine.

“This even was being promoted by many, including a Carrboro and Chapel Hill group known as the Prison Books Collective,” the report said. “This group seems to have a close association with other groups from Chapel Hill: the UNControllables and Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro. These groups tout themselves as anarchists and openly express anti-police agendas.”

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said he has “no doubt” that anarchist groups are behind some of the recent protests.

“Everything that I’ve gotten through intelligence and social media and information from other people points to that,” Lopez said. “I think it’s also reflected in some of the people that we’ve arrested who have been involved in a lot of anarchist-type situations before. And if you look at their social spots, you’ll see that what they’re talking about is anarchist movements.”

During the Dec. 5 demonstrations, police said several officers were assaulted, including one who was assaulted and knocked to the ground.

Some of those protesters, however, contend that it was the police officers who were combative, complaining about the force Durham police officers used during the demonstrations. One protester, 21-year-old Adrienne Harreveld, described the officers’ actions as “excessive.”

“One women started walking toward an officer and she was pulled down to the ground, and other officers gathered towards here to arrest her,” Adrienne Harreveld recalled.

“I went up to the officer and said, ‘Excuse me sir, can I please see your badge number.’ He looked me up and down for a second, and then grabbed me and threw me to the concrete. … I felt people grabbing me from behind and a knee in my stomach.”

The report released Tuesday said anarchists are known to “downplay their acts and demonize police action” following their demonstrations.

Downplaying the taunting of police is exactly what they do. Anyone who paid attention to Occupy knows this.
On a related note, Moral Monday has now co-opted these protests.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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1 Response to Durham Police Action Report: Protesters Assaulted Police, Tried to Set Fire

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