RALEIGH – Law enforcement agencies have been put in a tough spot over the last several weeks, trying to interpret the myriad social distancing orders handed down from on high by the Governor or municipal leaders. Naturally, then there are going to be examples of authoritarian responses to the most harmless of things — arresting praying Christians for being too close together, or banning access to the Atlantic Ocean to enforce social distancing.
Yet, the Raleigh Police Department may have soured public relations during the era of coronavirus closures even further with their response to a Reopen NC protest at the state legislature. The protest of several dozen people was observed for a little while before police thought there were too many people, too close together. That was a social distancing violation and so they were ordered to disperse.
One person was arrested for refusing to disperse from the extremely public location outside the General Assembly. Others, who returned to their cars to honk horns and continue their advocacy at a safe social distance, were told they cannot do so. Sitting in the back of your truck, 10 feet from any person, was a violation because, “Protesting is a non-essential activity.”
Protesting is a non-essential activity.
— Raleigh Police (@raleighpolice) April 14, 2020
Needless to say, that boneheaded tweet received quite a bit of attention. From the funny, to the serious, the Raleigh PD were reminded by smart Twitter that the right to protest government policy may be one of the most essential activities there is.
Read the roasting of Raleigh PD at Twitchy.