The Raleigh Police Department said Tuesday that protesting is “a non-essential activity,” as they attempted to disperse a crowd of protesters who gathered to demand businesses in the state be allowed to reopen.
North Carolina is one of 43 states currently under a stay at home order over the coronavirus pandemic, and protesters gathered at the state capital in Raleigh Tuesday in opposition to those restrictions. At least one person at the rally was arrested, according to local investigative reporter Jonah Kaplan, who estimated that over 100 people attended the rally in total.(RELATED: How The Coronavirus Is Infecting Americans’ Civil Liberties)
Protesting is a non-essential activity.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) April 14, 2020
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to assemble, and some pundits and politicians have grown increasingly concerned over the crackdown on civil liberties that has occurred over the course of the public health crisis. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan.21: Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To U.S.)
The Raleigh Police Department was mocked on Twitter for its response.
“Google: ‘First Amendment’,” left-wing author Jeet Heer wrote.
Sheriff is extremely political. Police is not the place to run politics.
— Julia Song (@realjuliasong) April 14, 2020
So is shooting unarmed nonwhites in the back but hey everyone has their hobby right guys
— TOTALAUTHORITYHat (@Popehat) April 14, 2020
Google: “First Amendment”
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) April 14, 2020