Raleigh cops discharge flashbangs at staff of LGBT bar for aiding protesters in their parking lot
In a widely shared video, Tim Lemuel, owner of Ruby Deluxe, is heard telling law enforcement 'this is my business' as they advance
A sheriff’s department spokesperson, Eric Curry, told WRAL that the deputies fired “two audible charges” containing “no projectiles” from a shotgun. He said the deputies had seen people congregated outside the bar, giving out supplies to people who were later seen “throwing rocks and other projectiles” at the deputies. The same spokesperson told the
N&Othat the deputies had been responding to an anonymous tip that people were supplying water and other supplies to protesters.According to Curry, the use of “less-lethal force” was appropriate: “Once deputies urge the crowd to disperse several times and there is non-compliance, the next step is to disperse the crowd.” In this case, the tactic — firing on a business owner for handing out water in his own parking lot — worked, in that the group of people dispersed.
But the group had not been violatingcurfew, which wasn’t put into place in Raleigh until the evening of June 1, and the officers’ use of force doesn’t seem to be in line with the sheriff’s office policy: “It is the policy of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office that no weapon, either deadly or less-than-lethal will be used against any subject that is offering only passive or verbal resistance.”
“We weren’t chanting. We weren’t yelling. We weren’t gesturing to them. There was nothing that we were doing to instigate a response like that,” one member of the group, Jen Varani, told theN&O.Plus, according to Lemuel, if the officers had been so concerned about the group, why didn’t they approach them earlier without escalating to force? Ruby Deluxe is near the Wake County Justice Center; Lemuel told the
N&Othat the deputies had been watching them for hours and had ample opportunity to tell him of law enforcement’s concerns. Read more: Eater »
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