Continuing Coverage: Violence erupts, businesses damaged following peaceful protests in Greenville

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman discussed Sunday night’s protests during a joint media briefing at GPD headquarters Monday at 11:00 a.m. along with Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance, East Carolina University Police Chief Jon Barnwell, and Mayor P.J. Connelly.

During the media briefing, officials released images and time of events that occurred during Sunday night’s protest.

5:00 p.m. Sunday
• Peaceful protest began at Town Common
• Officers marched with protestors to GPD headquarters and blocked intersections so those gathering could peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights

6:45 p.m. Sunday
• Protests turned violent in the area of 5th and Cotanche and 1st Street near the Town Common as demonstrators left GPD headquarters
• A group of demonstrators challenged officers and began yelling obscenities
• Several officers were confronted and surrounded by protestors other protestors stepped in and intervened
• Demonstrators began throwing rocks, bricks, and bottles at officers and destroyed 10 patrol cars

When demonstrators became destructive, officers issued verbal commands and used sound devices to disperse the crowd.

Officials said they resorted to the use of chemical munitions when members of the crowd refused to comply and continued destroying property in the downtown area.

24 different law enforcement agencies from surrounding cities and counties responded to assist.

According to GPD, 31 businesses were damaged (mainly broken glass), 13 police/sheriff cars were damaged, two small vegetation fires were set by protestors in the areas of 3rd Street and West 5th Street but were quickly contained and multiple officers were injured from rocks and bottles thrown.

No major injuries were reported.

GPD said they arrested several individuals.

29-year-old Dennis Whaley was charged with failure to disperse and 20-year-old Bryce Pool was charged with carrying a concealed gun.

Several juveniles were detained but later released.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The Greenville community is cleaning up Monday morning after vandalism and looting took place following Sunday’s protest.

Pitt County Courthouse, Emerge Art Gallery, Coastal Fog, and other businesses in Uptown took a hit during last night’s rally.

Many protesters say these violent actions are not the way to seek justice. Law enforcement used tear gas to try and control the situation.

“We were protesting. Then the next thing you know we got to the courthouse. They tore down every flag, burned it. They threw rocks at windows and businesses.”

Once the rally started to get violent, Greenville police ordered all businesses to close immediately and the Greenville Police Department took to social media to ask people to avoid the uptown area.

Greenville PD will hold a press conference Monday morning at 11 a.m. to further address this weekend’s uprising.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Pitt County Emergency Management is asking all businesses to close immediately.

This is on order from the Greenville Police Department.

Officers are also asking people to shelter in place.

PREVIOUS SUNDAY AS OF 9:08 p.m.:

The Greenville Police Department is monitoring a protest that turned violent in the Uptown area.

Greenville Police Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter told WNCT they are asking for assistance from neighboring agencies.

At this time there are no injuries to report.

PREVIOUS SUNDAY AS OF 8:52 p.m.:

Police are warning people to stay away from the College Hill area.

Protesters are marching up 10th street.

PREVIOUS SUNDAY AS OF 7:45 p.m. :

Around 250 protesters are marching through Greenville, tearing down flags and shattering courthouse windows.

Officers are ordering all Uptown businesses to close and for residents to stay out of the area.

These videos were sent to us from eye-witnesses.

Protesters tell WNCT police used a gas to try and disperse protesters.

Protesters can also be seen here looking for rocks.

This is an ongoing story.

WNCT will continue to monitor the situation and bring you updates as we get them

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