Eight arrested in protest against city council’s inaction police abuse case

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Protesters in handcuffs wait to be loaded into a police van after blocking traffic in downtown Greensboro.

Eight people were arrested in downtown Greensboro tonight, as protesters dressed in pink sat down in Friendly Avenue near Center City Park to highlight frustration with city council’s handling of an incident of alleged police brutality at the Fun Fourth Festival last year.

Protesters marched to the spot where Jose Charles, then 15, was arrested by Greensboro police on July 4, 2016, after a city council meeting at Melvin Municipal Office Building devolved into chaos. A contentious back-and-forth between city council members and protesters led to Mayor Nancy Vaughan ordering police to clear council chambers. Council members filed out of the room, but protesters remained for almost 30 minutes, chanting, praying and speaking from the dais before police eventually cleared the room.

Precipitating the meeting’s abrupt ending was Mayor Vaughan’s efforts to bring order to the meeting as protesters vocalized frustration about a discussion with City Attorney Tom Carruthers about the legality of a motion by Councilwoman Sharon Hightower to ask the district attorney to drop charges against Jose.

The eight people arrested for staging a civil disobedience near Center City Park were charged with misdemeanor impeding traffic. Those arrested and charged were Becca Aubrey, Lindsay Caesar, Sarah Hamrick, Camile Hester, Kohai Lovingood, Isabell Moore, Betsy Oldenburg and Cristina Paynter.

More to come…