Protesters, journalists, and advocates in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, with the help of national and local civil rights groups, won a victory for personal rights and the Constitution today. A N.C. a North Carolina Superior Court judge granted a temporary restraining order against the City of Charlotte and its police chief to halt the use of force against peaceful demonstrators.
“This was an unlawful, unprovoked and violent attack on people peacefully protesting racial injustice and police violence,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Across the country and even step from the White House, police are using violence to silence the voices of protesters. We will continue to use the courts to stand up for those who continue to protest and push for racial justice.”
“We are happy with the court’s ruling,” said Elizabeth Haddix, managing attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We hope it will mean there is no more unlawful use of force – including groundless orders to disperse – by law enforcement officers at the Juneteenth action in Charlotte this afternoon and other events this weekend.”
“Black people have been harmed for centuries under the guise of law enforcement, which uses the term ‘protect and serve,’ but they have never protected or served the black community,” said Rev. Corinne Mack, President of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch of the NAACP, the lead plaintiff in the case. “What happened in Charlotte is another example of the abusive and brutal tactics that law enforcement uses against black people somewhere in this country every day.”
Earlier in the day, the groups filed a lawsuit against Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, Kerr Putney, and the city of Charlotte, alleging Charlotte police confronted peaceful protesters with tear gas, police in riot gear, exploding projectiles and tactics designed to menace peaceful citizens.
Read the press release for the overall lawsuit here.
Read a copy of the temporary restraining order issued today here.
Read the lawsuit here.
The Lawyers’ Committee has taken other actions across the country in response to attacks on protesters including Black Lives Matter DC v. Trump.
In addition to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Emancipate N.C. and ACLU of North Carolina counsel on the case include Brandy Haynes, Luke Largess of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, Tim Emry, Lauren Newton of the law firm of Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, Abe Rubert-Schewel of Lord & Schewel, and Alex Heroy of James McElroy & Diehl.