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Charlotte city councilman Braxton Winston arrested during protests

Prior to his arrest, Winston had been seen conversing with police and protesters along Beatties Ford Road.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte city councilman Braxton Winston was arrested and charged during a Friday night protest in northwest Charlotte. Winston had joined protesters outside of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's metro division demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, who was killed after being taken into custody by the Minneapolis police Monday.

Winston is one of an unknown number of protesters charged with Failure to Disperse.

Earlier in the evening, Winston could be seen standing in Beatties Ford Road alongside police officers and demonstrators.

The rally, which had started peacefully around 6:30 p.m., escalated by 9 p.m.

A few minutes later, CMPD said several protesters were throwing rocks at officers. 

By 9:15 p.m., CMPD had declared the gathering "unlawful" and had ordered the ground to disperse.

Our news crews witnessed several people being taken into custody throughout the evening.

At 1:40 a.m. Saturday, Winston tweeted that he had been released and was home safe.

"Thank you all for your support. There are a lot of people that are still in the process. There is a lot of work to do," he wrote.

In a statement released by Winston's campaign Saturday, he said he was released at 1 a.m. on a $1,000 unsecured bond. The statement says Winston was at the protest as a City Council Member at Large.

"He went in an attempt to de-escalate the tensions between the police and the citizens of Charlotte," the statement reads, in part. "During the time he was out there, he was in communication with CMPD, press, community leaders, and protesters."

Winston is now in the legal process. His campaign says they are confident he will be "exonerated of any wrongdoing." 

Individuals arrested and charged can be transferred into the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Garry McFadden said in-taking such a volume of people at once during the coronavirus pandemic gave him exposure concerns.

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