Cops attacked sticks, rocks and other items at African ‘cultural event’ in Charlotte

African conflict resulted in a riot in North Carolina as an hours-long “protest and standoff” saw officers attacked with “sticks, rocks and other items.”

(Video: WCNC)

Cultural assimilation was left by the wayside in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday as protesters gathered outside an Eritrean “cultural event” to voice their opposition to the nation’s government. There, responding officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) found themselves at the beginning of 10 hours of conflict that resulted in at least eight arrests.

According to a press release, the CMPD Providence Division responded shortly after 11:30 a.m. to “an unlawful protest happening in the parking lot of a business hosting an Eritrean cultural event…Protesters were on private property and were spilling out into the road, which prompted officers to close Monroe Road. Dispersal orders were repeatedly given to protesters throughout the duration of the protest, however they refused to disperse. Charlotte Fire and MEDIC responded to assist.”

When Bike Unit officers attempted to force protesters back out of traffic, “Several protesters threw objects and pushed back against the officers. Officers then deployed pepper spray. Multiple protesters and officers were treated on scene for injuries related to the pepper spray.”

It was at this point the CMPD said one woman allegedly struck an officer and was discovered to have a firearm on her person. She was charged with Inciting to Riot, Injury to Personal Property and Assault on a Government Official.

Along with seven other individuals arrested, she was also charged with Failure to Disperse and Impeding Traffic.

By 7:30 p.m. CMPD’s Civil Emergency Unit was deployed and “met with violence and hostility with protesters throwing objects.”

At one point, crowds “wielding sticks, rocks and other items” briefly set a tractor-trailer on fire and after 9:00 p.m. the event attendees departed before protesters eventually dispersed.

As it happened, the same day clashes in the Netherlands took place where police cars were set on fire and objects were hurled at officers.

Seated on the west coast of the Red Sea across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti, Eritrea has been governed by President Isais Afwerki since he came to power in 1993 and has long been considered to have one of the world’s worst human rights records.

Supporters and opposition to Afwerki’s government have taken their conflict international at length and in September Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called for the immediate deportation of rioters. He also used the issue as a call for the courts to be reined in, blaming them for preventing troublesome foreign nationals from getting booted from Israel.

“They have no claim to refugee status,” Netanyahu had stated as an estimated 25,000 illegal aliens from Africa resided in the sovereign nation. “They support this regime. If they support the regime so much, they would do well to return to their country of origin.”

Norway, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Seattle, Washington had all previously seen clashes between Eritrean protesters.

Kevin Haggerty

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