Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter billboard that Kerwin Pittman had placed on Tryon Road in Raleigh's Southside for one month. This is the second Black Lives Matter billboard in a campaign he plans to take statewide.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Raleigh police arrested 12 people during protest activity in the capitol city Saturday night.

Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET

The city of Louisville, Ky., announced a $12 million settlement Tuesday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor.

The settlement also includes a series of police reforms to be adopted by the Louisville Metro Police Department, including establishing a housing incentive program to encourage officers to live in low-income neighborhoods within the city.

Other changes to police tactics include creating a clearer command structure when executing warrants at multiple locations.

WUNC Commits To Anti-Racism

Sep 11, 2020

Black lives matter. WUNC believes this because it is true, and truth fuels what we do at North Carolina Public Radio.

WUNC does not believe that saying Black lives matter is a political statement, or supportive of any single organization, or that it conflicts with our journalistic mission.

Kerwin Pittman, 33, of Raleigh, NC, is the founder of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services and a field organizer with Emancipate NC.
Kate Medley / For WUNC

Kerwin Pittman is a member of the governor's new task force examining racial inequities in the criminal justice system. He is also a field organizer for Emancipate N.C. and has helped post Black Lives Matter billboards in Raleigh and Pittsboro.

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

The 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech," is set for Friday.

A painting of Yusuf Hawkins, surrounded by protest signs, pink flowers and and the Black Liberation flag.
HBO

Sen. Kamala Harris is breaking barriers as the first Black woman and Asian American person to appear on a major party’s presidential ticket. The former California attorney general is already facing right-wing attacks on her “eligibility” to run and left-wing criticism of her reputation as a prosecutor. 

Lamoreaux via Flickr / https://bit.ly/3kHkXhY

The North Carolina city of Asheville is considering removing the names of slave owners and other people associated with discrimination from some streets and a park.

Jim Hunt was first elected Governor of North Carolina in 1976 when he was just 39 years old. He served four terms in the Executive Mansion, spanning four different decades. 

During his time in office, Hunt remained a steadfast supporter of public schools and prioritized education policy. In 1984, Hunt also set his sights on the U.S. Senate, and lost a bitter race to longtime Senator Jesse Helms.

On this episode of the Politics Podcast from WUNC, Hunt discusses his legacy as a governor, recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and a time he hitchhiked to the Midwest.


 

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A federal court issued an emergency ruling this week, saying law enforcement likely violated the First Amendment rights of protesters in Alamance County. Protesters against police brutality and racial injustice have been met with stiff opposition from city and county officials, and from Confederate sympathizers.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

It's been less than a month since anti-racist activists posted "Black Lives Matter" on a billboard next to a large Confederate flag in Pittsboro. Now, the owner of that property says he wants the billboard removed.

Four people standing under the words' Black AF'
Carolina Waves

Lena Jackson, Tagem, 2FLY KNG and Jooselord join verses about the systemic violence against Black bodies in “Black AF,” a raw black-and-white lyric video released by Carolina Waves.

Fight for 15, Black Likes Matter, Strike for Black Lives, Livable Wage
Leoneda Inge

The Black Lives Matter movement came together with the campaign for a $15 minimum wage Monday in downtown Durham.

The rally and march was part of a national “Strike for Black Lives.” Low wage workers and their supporters, many wearing red "NC Raise Up" t-shirts, say essential workers during this COVID-19 pandemic deserve at least $15 an hour.

As federal law enforcement agents continue to occupy Portland, Ore., state and local officials are demanding that they leave. Protesters have demonstrated in the city's downtown for more than 50 nights since George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

Police Lights
Keith Kern, Creative Commons / https://bit.ly/2CFeh2a

An employee at a North Carolina police department has been placed on administrative leave following a social media post about George Floyd, officials said Thursday.

Image couresy of Kerwin Pittman

A group in Pittsboro has erected a Black Lives Matter billboard to counter a Confederate flag that stands along U.S. Highway 64.

Asheville city council Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution supporting reparations for the city’s Black community.  Details of what shape those will take will come over the next year.  

Steven Weiss was protesting in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center. It was June 19, three weeks into near-nightly protests against systemic racism and police violence. Those protests routinely culminated each night with police resorting to violence to disperse hundreds of nonviolent protesters.

Two groups of protesters facing off in a street, with police officers standing in the middle. Protesters with confederate flags stand on the right.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

Protests continue in Graham over the town’s Confederate statue and the local history of racist policing. Over the weekend, the Alamance County seat hosted hundreds of protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement and local social justice organizations. They were met by law enforcement and more than 50 counter-protesters with ties to ReOpen networks and white supremacist organizations.

Three men have been charged for carrying firearms in downtown Asheville on June 21 at a demonstration, according to the Asheville Police Department.  

Mayor Steve Schewel stands for a portrait inside Durham City Hall.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The new fiscal year started this week, a time when local governments implement the new budgets they spent months working on over the spring.

In the city of Durham, that budget has been the subject of a protest for several weeks now. In particular, demonstrators object to a 5% increase in funding for the city’s police department, which is getting more than $70 million over the next year.

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

At anti-racism rallies and marches across the country, protesters are coming face to face with police — but also with heavily armed civilians. America’s gun laws make it difficult to diffuse the tension.

This is no ordinary year.

A pandemic is sweeping across the world as cries for changes to address systemic racism fill the streets of American cities. The economy is reeling, and a presidential election is looming. But sometimes self-expression thrives amid turmoil.

In this Sunday, June 21 image, a message of 'DEFUND' points to the Durham Police Headquarters. The street art was painted as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in the city.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

In the month since George Floyd’s killing sparked protests nationwide, some demonstrators in Durham have literally taken their message to the police.

Aunt Jemima syrup bottles
Mike Mozart

As the country reckons with the systemic racism upon which it is built, major companies are making statements of their own. Some address inequities and enumerate actionable steps to combat racism. 

Jay Price / WUNC

Crews in Raleigh removed the largest remnants of a 75-foot-tall Confederate monument that sat near the grounds of the state Capitol for 125 years.

Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

North Carolina is just one of five states this year with concurrent races for the presidency, U.S. Senate and the governorship. Protesters demanding police reform and racial justice, and the pandemic from the coronavirus, could impact how these elections turn out.


Demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality are now in their third week in Charlotte. On Monday evening, about 75 protesters gathered at uptown's First Ward Park just before a light rain began to fall.

Hundreds of protesters took to downtown Raleigh on Saturday, May. 30, 2020 to denounce the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier in the week.
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.

Justin and his buddies look like they're from a special ops team: They're wearing military-style vests and carrying rifles and pistols. But they aren't military, and they aren't police.

"I see myself as a concerned citizen who happens to be armed," he says.

They won't give their last names, citing safety and job security. But on a recent evening they are standing watch over about 200 protesters at a rally about the death of George Floyd in Missoula, Mont.

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