Filed under: Action, Police, Southeast
On Tuesday evening a rebellion kicked off in east Raleigh, North Carolina, after police there shot a 26 year old man, Javier Torres, on New Bern Avenue. Police claim they were responding to calls of a man with a gun and that Torres ran upon seeing the police. They also claim a handgun was found at the scene of the shooting. Body camera footage from the shooting has yet to be released. Immanently following the shooting, crowds began gathering near the site of the incident, as news began to spread quickly over social media.
Raleigh police shot another in the back tonight. Out in front of the chief of police house Raleigh come through 648 penncross drive RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/YQP09G6HKW
— comrade house fire ☭ (@RedKlutz) March 11, 2020
According to the Daily Beast:
“We was at the light. We seen this little boy just running, with a pizza,” the woman says on the video. “All of a sudden I seen a cop pull his gun out… and then he put it back in… and the next thing you know you hear gunshots.
“This is wrong,” she added.
On Twitter and Facebook, posters claimed a 16-year-old boy had been shot in the back—but Raleigh Police later said that the suspect, Javier Torres, was 26 years old and that they were responding to a call of a man with a gun.
As IndyWeek reported from the scene:
“It’s extremely concerning that Raleigh police continue to shoot our citizens in the back,” said activist Kerwin Pittman, who stood with protesters on Fayetteville Street at midnight. “Hopefully this time someone is held accountable.”
As the crowds grew following the shooting, people then decided to march on the home of police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, where a line of police officers stood guard. Social media reports that family members of Torres were on the scene, carrying a framed photo of him.
After about an hour, the large group of several hundred then marched through downtown Raleigh, blocking intersections and shutting down Salisbury Street at the State Capitol while chanting, “FTP!” and “Who’s Streets? Our Streets!”
A flag was also taken from the mansion of Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, and was set aflame on the street by demonstrators.
Street marches and protests continued late into Wednesday morning, as a massive police presence was built up on the street.
According to one person out on the streets tonight who wished to remain anonymous that spoke with It’s Going Down, tonight’s rebellion marked a turning point from previous events in the city of almost half a million:
The energy was an exciting departure from so many of the self policed and defeatist “political” events in Raleigh. Particular love and thanks to folks who tore down the flags from the Governor’s Mansion so the crowd could burn them. And love to the family members of the kid who was shot. Rest in power, rest in peace. As marchers chanted while parading through one of downtown’s fancier residential neighborhoods—no justice, no sleep!
Tonight’s shooting also took place near the same intersection where law enforcement shot and killed Soheil Antonio Mojarrad, 30, a year ago. Mojarrad was shot 8 times by police, pushing the city to change its policy in regards to police body cameras.
In recent weeks, the Raleigh Police Department has also been in the news; receiving widespread criticism after officers paid to access Clearview AI, which uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to search the internet for photos.