Greenville leaders respond to riot in uptown

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville and Pitt County officials will step up the police presence in uptown tonight.

They’re looking back at what happened in this part of the city and where they’re going from here.

They say they’re totaling up the damage to police vehicles, city buildings, and local businesses. 

They had 250 law officers from 24 different agencies from across the East come in to help stop the riots. 

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman says they’re asking the North Carolina National Guard to be on hand in case officers need back up. 

Yesterday afternoon’s peaceful march turned violent when a small group began throwing rocks and other objects at buildings, and at police and their vehicles. 

Police used tear gas to break up the crowds and get them out of the area.

GPD expresses support for peaceful protests. 

Chief Mark Holtzman says, “We’re all about the first amendment and will be out there today or any day that people want to peacefully protest in our community. The difference between a civil protest and riot is when you’re causing damage to property or injuring people whether they are police officers or others.”

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video, trying to identify some of the people involved in causing the most damage.

Greenville police also want to thank the protesters.

Many of them stepped in front of officers, trying to protect them from angry rioters.

Two adults were arrested, one on a weapons charge, and another on a charge of “failure to disperse.”

There is a curfew in place from 8 pm until 6 am. 

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