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Protest targets Chief Lopez, Durham Police

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DURHAM, N.C. -

Protesters on Monday night called for an end to racial discrimination in Durham, and protested recent comments by Police Chief Jose Lopez.

A group gathered to rally Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at police headquarters and then headed downtown.

The group "Fade" – which is a campaign to legalize marijuana use – organized the rally. But their message Monday was they wanted an end to what they see as racial discrimination and police brutality in Durham.

Assistant police chief Winslow Forbes, who joined the force in 1988, filed a complaint against Lopez, claiming Lopez overlooked black officers for promotion. But an independent investigation found Forbes was not discriminated against.

One of the protesters Monday was David Hall, an attorney who was hit by a stray bullet in his yard. Lopez is reported to have said Hall deserved it because he is a public defender. Lopez later apologized but said he did not recall making such a remark.

"I'm not out here for that, but the movement is certainly bigger than me, to bring racial justice and equality to underserved communities in Durham," Hall said.

Durham Police could not be reached for comment.

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