Statement from Sen. Berger on Protests, Riots in Raleigh
Raleigh, N.C. — Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) today released the following statement:
“The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement in Minnesota was shocking to all people committed to fairness and justice in our society.
“Across the nation, and in North Carolina, we’ve seen citizens engage in peaceful protests to express their hurt, a desire for justice, and anger — natural and constitutionally protected reactions — at the senseless loss of George Floyd’s life. Unfortunately, in some instances, including some right here in North Carolina, those protests descended into chaotic riots punctuated by the wanton destruction of property, taunting of law enforcement, and looting.
“Such was the case in Raleigh, where downtown business owners face shattered windows, flooded and graffiti-stained storefronts, and looted shelves.
“Lawlessness and destruction cannot be permitted. Given the experience of other localities in recent days, preparations should have been in place in the event things were getting out of hand. Were such contingencies contemplated? If so, what was the plan? If not, why not? What, if any, advance preparations were taken to involve state emergency and law enforcement resources?
“Local and state executive agency leaders have a duty to the public to be prepared to respond to the kind of anarchy seen on our streets last night. I hope the advance preparation yesterday was not for the police to be given stand-down orders as rioters set fire to buildings and looted stores. Leaders in Raleigh and Wake County should be forthright with the public and explain how this was allowed to happen and provide assurance that adequate steps are in place to prevent this chaos and destruction from happening again.”