By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on June 1, 2020
As state officials announced the deployment of 450 National Guard troops to Raleigh and Charlotte, Governor Roy Cooper, at a May 31 briefing, addressed the protests and violence that have followed the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Calling this “a painful moment for our county and the good state of North Carolina,” Cooper, a Democrat, began by saying, “I am here today to talk about the call being sounded right now across our state to stamp out the persistent and ugly flames of racism.”
He added that the Floyd case “broke open painful wounds. These scars mark generations of trauma that black people and other communities of color continue to suffer.”
Cooper spoke to the looting, fires and riots that have accompanied some protests in the state, saying that a pattern had developed of largely peaceful protests during the daytime and then “as night set in, a different crowd shifted to a more aggressive, more disruptive display…Violence and destruction is unacceptable,” he added. “In many ways, these actions, undermine peaceful pleas for justice.”
“I fear the cry of the people is being drowned out by news of the riots,” he said. “Let me be clear about one things. People are more important than property. And black lives do matter.”
Cooper and North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks said the National Guard had been requested by the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh to provide security and support to local law enforcement agencies there. Cooper did indicate that thus far, no one had been killed or critically injured in the North Carolina protests.