By WECT Staff | June 15, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT – Updated June 15 at 11:55 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – For more than two weeks, calls to end racial injustice and police brutality have been heard across the world.
On May 25, George Floyd was accused of using a fake $20 bill at a Minneapolis grocery store.
Police responded to the scene, and attempted to arrest Floyd, but while in custody, Floyd, who was black, repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” as a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck. Investigators say this lasted for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
Black and Blue: Protests in the Cape Fear (Part 1)
That includes Wilmington — a city not unfamiliar to racial tensions and even riots.
Each agency has policies for both general use of force and responding to riots.
In general, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency, and any deputy can request that the civil disturbance unit be activated if they have a “reasonable belief” that there is a riot or an imminent threat of one.
Black and Blue: Protests in the Cape Fear (Part 3)
The policies also require that these agencies document any use of force, including at a protest — but both claimed those reports are not subject to the state’s public records law.
Leaders have said they are open to discussing what can be done better and talking with protesters about how to address the systemic issues of racism within policing and other areas of civil life.
Those who head organizations like the local chapter of Black Lives Matter and the NAACP say there are two easy ways to contribute to change: voting and participating in the 2020 Census.
Black and Blue: Protests in the Cape Fear (Part 4)
As a lifelong resident of Wilmington, WECT News Anchor Frances Weller had a special message for the community on coming together and moving forward.
Black and Blue: Protests in the Cape Fear (Part 5)
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