Protesters march through Hanes Mall and block holiday traffic

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About 40 protesters held a silent march through Hanes Mall with hands raised to protest the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown this afternoon for about five minutes.

The march took place after a sometimes tense negotiation with Winston-Salem police officers on the scene that culminated about two hours of peaceful, orderly protests. Marchers briefly shut down Hanes Mall Boulevard holding letters that spelled out the slogan, “Black lives matter.” Afterwards, they marched several blocks to Hanes Mall.

After the protest ended and protesters were walking back to their cars parked near the intersection of Stratford Road and Hanes Mall Boulevard, an individual wearing a Guy Fawkes mask was arrested for impeding traffic. A second individual who had been wearing a skeleton mask was cited for impeding traffic but not arrested. Protest leaders said they did not know the two individuals and had never seen them before.

UPDATE: Police have identified the individual who was arrested as Zachary Widener, who also faces a charge of wearing a mask in public along with impeding traffic. The police also cited Christopher Maurer and Kim Porter with impeding traffic.

Look for more coverage in our Dec. 24 issue, which will be published on Tuesday — a day early — in anticipation of the holidays.

Zachary Widener is taken into custody.
Zachary Widener is taken into custody by the Winston-Salem police.