RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Four people, including the co-founder of ReOpen NC, were arrested during the group’s protest Tuesday in Raleigh.
The arrests happened outside of the North Carolina Executive Mansion along North Blount Street.
According to arrest warrants, Wendy Macasieb, Lisa Todd and Ashley Smith were arrested during the protest on charges of resisting arrest and violation of an executive order. Smith is one of the ReOpen NC movement leaders.
Jonathan Warren II was also charged with resisting arrest and violation of an executive order, as well as damage to property.
The three women were later released from jail before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
In a statement, Smith called the arrests a “bold move” saying ReOpen NC had worked peacefully with the Raleigh Police Department and Capitol Police prior to her arrest.
“Our protests will continue. Our civil disobedience will accelerate. Our faith in the police has diminished. We will open North Carolina,” Smith said in a statement.
According to arrest warrants Smith, Todd, Macasieb and Warren violated Executive Order 121 by attending a mass gathering and not maintaining social distancing when asked.
Warrants for Smith, Todd and Macasieb also say they did not comply when asked not to come on to state property by a police officer.
According to State Capitol Police a protester violently pulled on part of the northeast gate of the Executive Mansion, breaking it.
State Capitol Police say that prompted officers to ask the crowd to back away from the fence and sidewalk to maintain social distancing, keeping officers safe, and preventing further damage.
“While protests can be subject to restrictions on time, place and manner, they are held as a fundamental right under the Constitution. State Capitol Police respects the constitutional right to peaceably assemble,” a State Capitol Police spokesperson said in a statement.
This was the third Tuesday people have gathered to protest the stay-at-home order in North Carolina.
These have been heated protests with lots of emotions. Some of those in attendance were business owners impacted by the stay-at-home order and others who have come to the protests were health professionals on the front lines of the pandemic who wanted to make it known that protesters need to stay home.