A story from our sister station in Fayetteville brought tears to my eyes. A powerful scene unfolded in Fayetteville Monday night, as a tense protest came to a peaceful end as members of the Fayetteville Police Department knelt with protesters. As seen on social video shared with Beasley Media Fayetteville, Fayetteville Police Department officers and protest leaders coordinated to safely kneel together as a show of mutual respect.
A Tweet from the department read: “As a show of understanding the pain that is in our community and our nation regarding equality, the #FayPD took a knee to show that we also stand for justice for everyone. We are committed to listening and treating everyone with dignity and respect. #LoveONE
The protest had gotten tense, as one leader of the march down Murchison Road – near Fayetteville State University – was taken into custody. Police were working with the group to peacefully march, but after the arrest, tensions mounted.
There were no other acts of violence, however, so police continued to hold a protective line while protesters voiced their concerns. After some 3 hours and many discussions between police and protesters, they agreed to kneel together. The Fayetteville Police Department also posted drone footage of the protest moment.
Monday night’s protest continued the series of protests nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The officer involved in Floyd’s death has been arrested and charged with murder. Floyd was reportedly born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and has family in the Sandhills region still.
Saturday night, after a day of successful peaceful marches and protests in Fayetteville, things took a turn near the Market House in downtown Fayetteville. Several downtown businesses had windows broken out and fires were set inside the Market House. After that situation was diffused by Fayetteville police, groups began looting in stores around Skibo Road, including J.C. Penney’s at Cross Creek Mall, Walmart, and Academy Sports.
With tensions mounting, the City of Fayetteville implemented a city-wide curfew to help Fayetteville police control any protest, and there were no reported incidents Sunday night.