Tasha Moro, NLG Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 212-679-5100, ext. 15#
Nicole Lee, Esq., BMLP Co-Founder
Nicole@bmlp.org | 202-270-0774
CHARLOTTE, NC—On Monday night, police arrested about 10 people, including unsuspecting protesters, bystanders, and an NLG Legal Observer, during a peaceful march in Charlotte Center City, NC. Witnesses say there was no dispersal order given by police, and some arrestees had been merely standing on the sidewalk. All were charged with impeding traffic, and the Legal Observer, an attorney, was additionally charged with resisting arrest. Protests have been ongoing in Charlotte following the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott on September 20, resulting in 114 total arrests so far. Thirteen people still remain in custody. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and Black Movement Law Project (BMLP) call for the immediate release of all arrestees, and fully support the demands set forth by Charlotte Uprising.
Demonstrations took place throughout the day Monday with little interference by law enforcement. It wasn’t until about 11 PM when a small group of protesters marched in the streets following a meeting at City Hall, that dozens of riot police and members of the National Guard suddenly appeared and began the “snatch-and-grab” style of arrests, the first of which was Denise Heberle of the NLG Michigan and Detroit Chapter, who was serving as a Legal Observer at the time.
“This was an ambush of the last few people involved in a long evening of peaceful protest. Legal Observers were targeted along with protesters. The police removed the only people who were present solely to bear witness,” said Heberle, while on her way to give an Legal Observer training in Kalamazoo, MI.
Activists in Charlotte have organized quickly in response to recent events. Charlotte Uprising, “a coalition of community members, local and state organizers committed to ensuring the safety of their communities, and advocating for police accountability, transparency and social and economic equity,” has been leading the organizing efforts, coordinating volunteers, releasing a set of demands, starting a petition and operating a bail support/legal hotline for arrestees, and offering other crucial support. The Durham Solidarity Center established the Freedom Fighter Bond Fund, which is collecting donations for protesters’ legal support. BMLP and the NLG have been on the ground providing jail support, legal observing, and recruiting pro bono representation for protesters.
The NLG and BMLP stand with Charlotte Uprising and will continue to support the Movement for Black Lives. Learn how you can get involved below:
- CharlotteUprising.com: updates, demands, petition, donations, volunteer info, events, bail support/legal hotline (704-769-0243)
- Follow #CharlotteUprising on social media
- Freedom Fighter Bond Fund: durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund
- For legal practitioners in North Carolina who would like to offer their assistance, contact NLG Executive Director Pooja Gehi at email@example.com.
Photo: Gabriel Duran