NC National Guard, police mobilize in Raleigh ahead of possible armed protests

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — States across the country are bracing for the possibility of armed protests in their capital cities on Sunday.

An anonymous flyer calling for armed marches at all 50 state capitols has law enforcement preparing for the worst, and people who live in downtown Raleigh worried about the potential for violence.

“I think it’s scary that people have brought so much more violence,” said Mariel Coughlin, who lives downtown. “We’ve already had quite a year in 2020, it would be nice if we could move on to a more peaceful year.”

State and city officials told CBS 17 they have not issued any protest or gathering permits at the State Capitol for Sunday.

It’s unclear exactly who is organizing the nationwide protests, or how many people may show up, but state and local police departments are working together to address potential threats. 

Erik A. Hooks, Secretary of the NC Department of Public Safety released this statement: 

“It is not prudent to comment on specific security initiatives. However, be assured the Department of Public Safety remains extremely vigilant in its public safety efforts. Our law enforcement entities are engaged with our local, state and federal partners to identify and address a myriad of public safety threats. The necessary work of the state and federal governments continues and I am grateful to our outstanding law enforcement professionals for their service. 

“We continue to seek and share information concerning any potential threats to our critical infrastructure, residents and visitors.”

Earlier in the week, Gov. Roy Cooper also activated 350 National Guard soldiers to assist law enforcement if needed. 

Several downtown Raleigh businesses have boarded up their storefronts with plywood in case things escalate. Others are rolling the dice and hoping for the best. 

“I hope it’s calm, I hope it’s not what they’re expecting,” said Coughlin. “I have a sister that lives in Washington D.C. and I know for her, the whole Capitol, basically terrorist attack was terrifying for her, so I hope it’s nothing like that here.”

Coughlin, who is a nurse, added, “These events are just super-spreader events and we are drowning in the hospitals and I think this is just gonna make it so much worse for us.” 

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