At least 5 arrested as protests against RNC continue in uptown Charlotte streets

Updated: Aug. 23, 2020 at 10:38 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say at least five people were arrested Saturday night as protests against the Republican National Convention continued through the uptown Charlotte Streets.

Police say they arrested a demonstrator who was armed with a gun on South Tryon Street. Police say they arrested another protester on 3rd and Caldwell Streets for repeatedly advancing on the police line. Three more arrests were made on 3rd and Caldwell. According to police, they arrested two protesters for assaulting police officers and a third protester for blocking the road with debris.

Those arrested included:

- Deandre Love, 23, charged with possessing a weapon at a protest

- Shweta Malhorta, 38, charged with damage to property and resisting an officer

- Rachel Roush, 23, charged with resisting an officer

- Dawnya Little, 37, charged with assault on a government official

- A 17-year-old male charged with damage to property and resisting an officer

Protests continue in uptown Charlotte through the evening hours on Saturday, just two days ahead of when the RNC comes to town to nominate President Donald Trump as its candidate.

The RNC will be scaled back this year.

Delegates began arriving this weekend, and President Trump is expected to arrive in Charlotte on Monday.

This weekend, some groups organized protests against the event.

The group Charlotte Uprising advertised on social media protests starting at Marshall Park at 8:30 p.m. each night throughout the weekend.

The message of the protests was to stop social injustice. They were also marching against President Trump and against police, protesters told WBTV.

On Saturday, Charlotte Uprising spent several hours going over tricks on how to relieve their eyes if they are tear-gassed, and they are giving out numbers to call if any of them get arrested.

Later in the evening, the group continued its protest against the RNC.

Protesters marched through uptown Charlotte for the second night in a row, chanting and carrying signs.

Demonstrators walked against traffic along E. 3rd Street, then blocked traffic at the intersection of E. 3rd Street and S. Brevard Street to chant, “Black Lives Matter.” Security guards of local businesses stepped out to stand guard.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers met up with protesters along the route.

WBTV heard an officer yell, “we need another squad,” as protesters continued to march past police.

Demonstrators walked toward Bank of America Stadium and then in the direction of I-277 where they were met by officers on motorcycles.

Protesters marched to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South College Street where police told WBTV that this is the closest they will let protestors get to the Charlotte Convention Center.

The rest of the way has been sealed off by Secret Service for the RNC.

Police used pepper spray on protesters.

CMPD said pepper spray was used to stop a protestor armed with a pole from advancing on officers.

Several protesters walked with open umbrellas to deflect pepper spray.

During the rally, demonstrators linked arms near the intersection no S. Tryon Street and W. Stonewall Street, inching closing to police officers.

One of the group's organizers told WBTV they have been planning RNC protests for about a month.

They have called on people with medical experience to be around uptown Charlotte just in case anyone is hurt.

The whole reason why they are against the RNC is that they don't believe in President Trump and the vision he has for the country.

Organizers of the rally say Charlotte has no place for any of the president's rhetoric here and they are going to let the city know how they feel.

Protests for the RNC started Friday night.

Police say multiple arrests were made when officers were reportedly assaulted on Trade Street and North Tryon Street. According to CMPD, pepper spray was used to keep the crowd from interfering with arrests that were taking place.

Bike officers were using their bikes to push crowds back on South Tryon Street to allow for traffic to flow. Police say some people grabbed officers’ bikes and OC spray was deployed on those people.

Police say an arrest was made when several demonstrators surrounded a vehicle. William Gissentaner, 23, was charged with impeding traffic, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

Charlotte alternative newspaper Queen City Nerve tweeted video Friday night, showing intense moments during the protests as it appears multiple people were hit with pepper spray. The videos were captured by Ryan Pitkin.

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