Media Releases Durham PD "After Action Report," Highlights Anarchist Involvement
The following article is from corporate news in Durham. It draws upon an internal report from DPD that can be seen here.
DURHAM, N.C. -
A report released Tuesday on recent protests in Durham suggests an anarchist group may be responsible for aggravating demonstrators already frustrated with police officers.
The report comes after Durham police officers arrested 51 people during protests on Dec. 5, 10 and 13. During each of the demonstrations, protesters blocked roadways throughout the city.
The report, released by City Manager Thomas Bonfield, suggests the demonstrations were escalated due to the interference of anarchist groups known that have been involved in previous protests in the city.
"Anarchists use and take advantage of local citizens that are upset about a current event," the report said.
Click Here to read the full report
The report points to an incident earlier this year when protesters marched in response of the death of Jesus Huerta, who died from a gunshot wound to his head while handcuffed in the backseat of a Durham police cruiser.
"During the Huerta marches, anarchists surrounded themselves with local citizens during marches, then changed into all black clothing to disguise their identity to commit criminal acts in anonymity, finally returning to the crowd to discard the black clothing and masks," the report said.
Recent grand jury decisions in New York and Missouri not to indict two white police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men have incited similar marches in the city, which the report said were promoted by anarchist groups.
The largest of those demonstrations was Dec. 5, when 31 protesters were arrested after they blocked the Durham Freeway, as well as Chapel Hill, Mangum and Vivian streets and Rigsbee Avenue.
"This even was being promoted by many, including a Carrboro and Chapel Hill group known as the Prison Books Collective," the report said. "This group seems to have a close association with other groups from Chapel Hill: the UNControllables and Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro. These groups tout themselves as anarchists and openly express anti-police agendas."
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said he has "no doubt" that anarchist groups are behind some of the recent protests.
"Everything that I've gotten through intelligence and social media and information from other people points to that," Lopez said. "I think it's also reflected in some of the people that we've arrested who have been involved in a lot of anarchist-type situations before. And if you look at their social spots, you'll see that what they're talking about is anarchist movements."
During the Dec. 5 demonstrations, police said several officers were assaulted, including one who was assaulted and knocked to the ground.
Some of those protesters, however, contend that it was the police officers who were combative, complaining about the force Durham police officers used during the demonstrations. One protester, 21-year-old Adrienne Harreveld, described the officers' actions as "excessive."
"One women started walking toward an officer and she was pulled down to the ground, and other officers gathered towards here to arrest her," Adrienne Harreveld recalled.
"I went up to the officer and said, 'Excuse me sir, can I please see your badge number.' He looked me up and down for a second, and then grabbed me and threw me to the concrete. ... I felt people grabbing me from behind and a knee in my stomach."
The report released Tuesday said anarchists are known to "downplay their acts and demonize police action" following their demonstrations.