CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have arrested 43 people outside a jail in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the arrests were made Thursday afternoon outside the Mecklenburg Detention Center.
Volunteers and activists had set up tables to provide food and water to people leaving the jail. They also say they were helping former inmates to find housing and mental health services.
But Dejah Gilliam, spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, said visitors and employees “have gotten harassed daily” and that daily operations at the jail were being impacted.
Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden had told the group that they had to vacate the sidewalk in front of the jail. Authorities said they refused to leave and were arrested hours later.
Private defense attorney Tim Emry said the arrests included at least four attorneys from the public defender’s office.