Raleigh Protesters Seek Changes In Police Department

Jun 15, 2020

Protests in Raleigh have been ongoing for about two weeks. Some demand reform in the city's police department.
Credit Jason deBruyn / WUNC

After more than two weeks of protests in downtown Raleigh, protesters are demanding change from the city's leadership, particularly in its police department.

The News & Observer reports that on the 15th consecutive day of protests Saturday, about 150 demonstrators traveled through downtown, marched to the Executive Mansion and eventually to Central Prison.

They heard from a woman whose son was fatally shot by Raleigh police.

Gloria Mayo is the mother of Keith Collins, a Raleigh man who was killed in February. Mayo said she wanted to be a voice for her son, who was 52 when he died, and other people who have been killed by police.

She called for defunding the police department, a similar demand from many community activists across the country.

In the case of her son, Raleigh police said they received a 911 call from someone who said she saw a large black handgun fall from Collins' shirt. When police arrived to investigate, they chased him and shot him when he refused to drop a BB gun and raise his hands, The News & Observer reported.

"We want justice," Mayo shouted, with protesters chanting the words back to her.

"It's time for a change," Mayo said. "We've got to keep fighting... They can make all the policies they want. If you don't follow the policies, policy ain't no good."

Thousands of people have marched in Raleigh over the past two weeks to protest police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man.

Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

On Sunday, more than 300 motorcyclists gathered together and rode about 60 miles from Garner to Fayetteville in a peaceful protest to show their support for criminal justice reform, according to WRAL.

Leonard Haynes, however, said even 300 riders weren’t enough.

“Until we get everybody speaking the same language and looking at us as the same eye, and seeing the same result, it’s not enough,” he said. “Let’s start looking at who is really making these decisions.”