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Protests Across NC Deepen Tensions Between Communities And The Police

Line of police officers in riot gear face a line of kneeling protesters.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

For the last three nights, people in communities around North Carolina raised their voices and demonstrated against police brutality against black people. The death of George Floyd sparked these protests in the Tar Heel state and around the country.

A police officer killed Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes after detaining him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. On Saturday and Sunday in North Carolina, peaceful protests turned to violence in several different cities and towns. Local officials have declared states of emergency in Raleigh, Charlotte, Fayetteville and Wilmington.

In all of those towns, law enforcement officers used tear gas and other less-lethal weapons against people demonstrating. Some protesters in Fayetteville, Charlotte, Wilmington, Raleigh and other communities broke windows, started fires and vandalized property. Many cities across the state imposed a curfew by Monday night, and demonstrations on Monday night around the state remained peaceful.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Jason deBruyn about protests in the state’s capital and how they evolved over several nights. DeBruyn is WUNC’s data reporter.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Jason deBruyn is WUNC's Supervising Editor for Digital News, a position he took in 2024. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016 as a reporter.
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