Fans greeted by protesters near one entrance to stadium; pushing - | WBTV Charlotte

Fans greeted by protesters near one entrance to stadium; pushing and shoving after the game

David Whisenant-WBTV David Whisenant-WBTV
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Most fans entering Bank of America Stadium for Sunday's game didn't see protesters, but those passing through the area of Mint and Graham Streets did see a peaceful protest involving several dozen people chanting and holding up signs.

A group that police estimated varied between 30-100 protesters stood on the corner and chanted as fans walked by.

"No justice, no peace," "Why are you in riot gear, we don't see no riot here," were two of the chants the group sang out. Protesters said the football game was an important venue for them to speak their message.

“Black lives matter, black men like myself, and my nephews," said James. "I’m out here standing for, that they face an uphill climb in dealing with police in very complicated situations, that there is something corrupt in the system.”

The protesters were heavily outnumbered by police. There were officers on bicycles, motorcycles, patrol cars, and on foot. Many were wearing tactical gear.

Captain Mike Campana described the protest as peaceful, comparing it with the protests held the last few nights following the violent night of demonstrations on Wednesday.

“The remaining nights the City of Charlotte came out, we had a lot of clergy, we had a lot of activist people that came out and really helped get the movement back on track and we’ve had very peaceful protests every night since then," Campana said. "I think that’s what Charlotte wants people to see is how quickly we turn things around and got it back on track.”

Some fans who were tailgating said that the events of the week had caused them some hesitation about coming to the game. One fan from Canada was aware of the events of the week, but said that would not keep her coming enjoying the game.

“I had an opportunity to see a game and I was not passing it up, despite the riots," said Kimberly Newton of Nova Scotia. “No, no, it’s fine, I’ve felt completely safe from the moment I arrived.”

When the game was over the mood seemed to change with protesters and fans shouting insults at one another.  Police had to break several incidents of pushing and shoving.

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