Seeking Reform of North Carolina Leadership After Riots - Destruction, Lack of Protection

Seeking Reform of North Carolina Leadership After Riots - Destruction, Lack of Protection

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Roy Cooper walked with protesters on Monday, June 1, 2020. Why did he not come out two days ago, on Saturday night? Then, on Sunday night, protesters  went to visit him at the governors mansion. Why didn’t Roy Cooper come out to see them? Was he scared? Why was he scared? I’ll tell you why - it’s because the evilest and most destructive things were happening to our wonderful downtown Raleigh! He was being protected, correct? Well, meanwhile, nobody was protecting the city of Raleigh, the small businesses downtown, or any business downtown for that matter, and on top of that, no one was protecting the people who live inside the buildings they were destroying and setting fire to. I saw first hand that we, business owners, had NO PROTECTION! I stayed at my eighty-two year old business and watched the horrific acts of vandalism,  breaking & entering, and stealing right in front of my own two eyes! These people who were performing such acts were not there to protest, and most certainly were not there to seek justice. They were fully prepared to do damage and to steal all they could for their own personal gain. THEY were prepared! They brought with them: crowbars, fire works, bricks, rocks, baseball bats, and various other instruments for destruction. Those people, specifically, are not protesters seeking justice. These people I am referring to, the non-peaceful protestors, came fully prepared to vandalize and steal as much as they could! Now, many have said "well it’s just property,” “property will never be important than a life,” and "windows and businesses can be replaced and repaired," however those properties are somebody’s life - and quite literally, because people live in the apartments above these buildings. LIVES were put in danger. The businesses are babies that innocent people have nurtured and taken care of and grown into great (small)businesses! The owners and employees have invested blood, sweat, and tears into these businesses! These businesses are what puts food on their families tables, sends their children to school, and provides money to survive. After the pandemic, Covid-19, these businesses have already been shut down and struggling for months. It takes money to repair the damage that was done, and some small businesses will not be able to bounce back from this destruction. People will be out of jobs, and families and communities will suffer because of it.

I saw careless people racing their cars down one-way streets, driving drunk, hanging out of trucks while driving, hanging out of open doors, drinking a fifth of Bombay rum. That was the driver! Not to mention the amount of passengers hanging out of the windows, sitting on top of the moving vehicles, and drinking straight from liquor bottles. Drivers went the wrong way down one way streets, driving far past the speed limit, endangering peaceful protestors! These actions were extremely dangerous to the protesters who were there to fight for the justice they so deserve! I saw where people set fires in a business across the street from my own. Where were law-enforcement while these acts were being carried out? They were no where in sight, and they did not respond when called for help. Two people from our business raced over and put the fire out themselves because not only was it a business on fire, but above that business were apartments filled with innocent lives. Raleigh had NO protection at all! I was told the reason law-enforcement did not get involved was because they could be personally harmed. We all know they took an oath to "serve and protect." What I witnessed was NEITHER serving nor protecting our community and our businesses. These people got away with breaking numerous laws. Why? Because they could! They knew they were not going to get caught or arrested because there was no assertion by law enforcement, there was NO presence of them in downtown Raleigh at the time. Why? Because they were told by the Raleigh police chief to "stand down." That gave them a greater advantage to destroy the businesses of downtown Raleigh! I realize it was considered a riot at that point, however, taking notice of other cities across our United States, many saw that people were out of control compared to other protests for the same cause.

If the leadership of our state and our city get knowledge that there is going to be a protest, what should our leaders think needs to be done? I’ll be happy to tell you - the leaders should have brought in law enforcement from every corner they could,  the National Guard and any one else that could have been used to protect our city, our businesses, and our peaceful protestors, to have been absolutely prepared for the worst and pray to our good Lord for the very best outcome, in hopes none of that would be needed! That did not happen and the people in charge making those decisions should be fired as soon as possible because they let everyone down all over Raleigh! Better to be safe than sorry. I’m  sure there’s many of these leaders that feel sorry and feel ashamed of their lack of leadership! Our city got torn apart because of a lack of preparedness, and because of this, these "leaders" need to find another job! Not a leadership role, of course, since they are not leadership material as history has proven!

I personally saw that there were two types of people that came to our city on Saturday and Sunday night. There were the very kind, humble, nice, and caring protesters honoring the life of George Floyd and others who were so wrongly done by police brutality, and to speak out against that issue as well as racial inequality. Then there were vandals and hooligans (for lack of a better word) who were there to destroy, steal, and put others in harms way. The sad thing is that the protestors who were there for the right reasons were hugely outnumbered. The true protesters that stood for good, who were calm, cool, and collected and very polite and caring people, spoke to me, telling me they were afraid of what was happening around them, and that what others were doing by stealing, burning, and destroying businesses, was not what the protest was about. I saw that they sincerely wanted peace, but also to leave because they said it "was getting out of control" because the "others are going crazy and were not true protesters" (the exact words from protesters I spoke to Saturday night). These kind souls came from all over, from all different races and backgrounds. Some came from the Durham protest which was peaceful, and because ours was not peaceful, they didn’t want any part of it. All of this being said leads me to ask this question: who made the decision not to take more protective measures on Sunday night in downtown Raleigh? The only things I saw that got protected were the monuments at our capital and the governors mansion. What rioters did not destroy on Saturday night got demolished on Sunday night! Businesses were vandalized and looted for the second time, some even worse than the first time. I did not see any law enforcement anywhere. There were no big tank trucks, no law enforcement on any of the major street corners, nothing was put into place like that until it was much too late! That was a very poor decision and the person(s) who made these decisions not to take proper measures to protect our city, need to be fired! All bases were not covered! As for a curfew being put in place sooner,the mayor flunked that test as it was a day late and a million dollars short!

I sincerely hope that you will read this and that our leaders will read this. I sincerely hope that they will take this chance to right a wrong. The people deserve it, the businesses and business owners deserve it, our city of Raleigh deserves it, AND most importantly the memory of those affected by police brutality, their families, and the memory of officers who have been wrongly killed such as David Dorn!