CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As The Republican National Convention gets underway demonstrators continued to gather in the streets of uptown Charlotte and South End for the second straight night of protest. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers made five arrests following unlawful actions during the demonstrations.
Police said around 9:00 p.m., a group of demonstrators left Marshall Park and began to peacefully march throughout Uptown Charlotte. When the group arrived near South College Street and East M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard, a demonstrator picked up a steel pipe which was being used for perimeter security fencing and aggressively approached officers. Bicycle officers then deployed pepper spray to prevent injuries and stop protesters from advancing any further.
According to CMPD, about an hour later, demonstrators were observed putting on gas masks and arming themselves with tennis rackets and shields. Officers were also alerted about a demonstrator riding a bicycle who was in possession of a 9mm firearm.
Officers located and arrested the suspect on South Tryon Street and Carson Boulevard, he was charged with possession of a weapon at a protest.
Demonstrators continued marching in the streets, Police said they were repeatedly observed placing objects like business signs, garbage cans, e-scooters and traffic cones in the roadway to impede traffic.
Around 11:00 p.m., officers were blocking off Stonewall Street for the safety of all parties involved when pepper spray was used on a demonstrator who assaulted an officer.
Following the interactions, the same group of demonstrators began to impede traffic by surrounding a vehicle that was attempting to travel through the intersection of South Caldwell Street and East 3rd Street.
Officers responded to assist the drivers and restore the normal flow of traffic, and while doing so, a protestor was arrested for aggressively approaching police officers and attempting to breach the officers’ established perimeter.
Three additional people were arrested for assaulting officers and refusing to obey lawful orders.