A 12 months later, Greensboro protesters are glad for progress, say there’s extra work to do | Native

GREENSBORO — Isolation, fear and anger.

Summer 2020 started in a bad place.

The COVID-19 pandemic upended America.

And soon, rage would ignite that tinderbox.

A shocking image came from the same social media people were using to connect to news and neighbors.

It broke through the clutter and galvanized millions: An amateur cell-phone video showing the agonized death of George Floyd.

“I remember I was sitting on my phone one day and I saw the video of George Floyd come across my timeline,” said Anthony Morgan III, a local community activist.

The pandemic gave Morgan time to sit with his thoughts. And the footage disturbed him.

“I remember it made me feel a certain type of pain in my heart.”

Floyd, a Black man, died on Memorial Day in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground by the knee of Derek Chauvin, a police officer.

Floyd pleaded with the officer, repeating: “I can’t breathe.”

The incident went viral, sparking an outcry for an end to police brutality against Black people.

Protests erupted in Minneapolis, then across the entire country.

Greensboro was no exception, due in part to Morgan.

After seeing the Floyd footage, he felt compelled to help, and while usually he would channel those emotions into his music, this was different.

“I felt like it needed to be an action and that I needed to take that energy that I felt to the streets.”

On May 30, 2020, Morgan and a crowd met outside the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in downtown. They marched all day, the crowd of protesters swelling as they chanted, blocked intersections on Gate City Boulevard and even shut down a section of Interstate 40.

They called for justice. For Floyd. For Black people.

A year later, the justice Morgan and many others demanded seems out of reach. The progress they wanted has come — but it’s hard to pinpoint. The change they need is happening — but it’s not easy to spot. 

A year later. Things are still changing.

A year later. Whether or not that’s for the better depends on who you ask.

Anthony Morgan leads a chant of the names of Black men killed by police during a protest on May 30, 2020, at the intersection of Gate City Bou…

Some said it was frustration in the fight for justice that fueled the violence and destruction Greensboro and cities across the country saw.

More than a year later, many issues divide the city. But activists and elected leaders believe the city has made progress in righting some wrongs that sent marchers to the streets. 

Morgan wasn’t involved in violence that broke out downtown on the night of May 30. That’s not how he prefers to go about initiating change. After marching in the hot sun all day, he and many protesters went home. But some stayed out, joining a second group downtown.

On Elm Street that night, the cordial relationship that existed between police and protesters all day shifted. Police brought out riot gear and deployed pepper spray. Businesses were vandalized, property stolen.

Authorities later suggested it was a small group of outsiders that caused the damage, but few arrests were ever made.

A curfew was put in place days later, which only seemed to further frustrate protesters who wanted their voices heard.  

Casey Thomas, a 32-year-old community activist with the group Guilford For All, said the city’s decision to institute a curfew was disappointing. After seeing an inspiring number of young people organizing together, the curfew came across as an effort to shut down those voices. 

“Curfews are a way for the city to be able to say that it’s fine for us to lock these people up,” Thomas said. “That it’s fine for us to hurt these people.”

But the city said it was in response to the “escalating violence” over the first weekend of protests. 

As demonstrations continued, downtown Greensboro businesses boarded their windows. The businesses on Elm Street, all covered in plywood, made one store indistinguishable from the next.

Video taken on May 31, 2020, after protests turned violent in downtown Greensboro.

Paint covered the plywood — dedications to Black men and women who lost their lives to police brutality. The familiar words chanted by protesters — “no justice, no peace” — adorned some of the wooden boards. So, too, were pleas for change, understanding and love.

The art, seen as a peaceful expression of frustration, later inspired street murals by Black artists, including a “Black Lives Matter” mural on Elm Street.

City Council members would later see that as the positive outcome of a distressing weekend of destruction. And it was a beginning, they believe, of a year of healing, though many protesters still feel frustration. 

“I believe our city was changing well before the protests happened,” Councilwoman Marikay Abuzuaiter said. “The city’s been proactive. It helped prevent some of the major disruptions that other cities were experiencing.

“I truly believe if we had not begun those proactive conversations and outreach into the community that we may have had a worse outcome.” 



Local community activist Anthony Morgan, who led the first protest at the end of May last year, poses for a portrait outside of the the Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro. One of the first protests in Greensboro was initially spearheaded by Morgan, with community members meeting up outside of the old Woolworth’s building, now the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.



One particular incident both Thomas and Morgan agree needs the city’s attention: the Marcus Smith case. 

“Chief (Brian) James wasn’t in leadership at that time, which I fully understand,” Morgan said, “but that is still an issue that’s going on that’s kind of holding our police department back from being this full, amplified version of what it could be.”

Smith, 38, has become known as “Greensboro’s George Floyd,” or in other words, yet another Black person who died at the hands of law enforcement. 

Smith, homeless at the time of his death, was experiencing a mental health crisis when officers bound his legs and feet behind him on Sept. 8, 2018. A state medical examiner said he died of cardiopulmonary arrest caused by a variety of factors, including “prone restraint” at the hands of police, cardiovascular disease and drugs and alcohol in his system.

Smith’s family is suing Guilford County, the city of Greensboro, eight officers and two paramedics, alleging they violated Smith’s constitutional rights by improperly restraining him and failing to treat his medical issues.

“It didn’t have to go down that way,” Morgan said, “and we can change things to make it right.”

Every Monday, a group gathers outside of City Hall, calling for the city to settle the lawsuit. 

There are other local incidents that have drawn criticism from the community, like the shooting death of Fredrick Cox Jr., an 18-year-old who was shot and killed by an undercover Davidson County Sheriff’s Office detective at a High Point funeral last year. 

Despite an SBI investigation that yielded no evidence to support that Cox was in a gang or had fired a weapon, a grand jury chose not to indict the detective who killed Cox. 

His family continues to call for justice and answers. 

“When you delay justice you become part of the problem,” Morgan said. 

When it comes to Smith’s case, Thomas said his killing was “abhorrent.” The handling of the case should be baffling, she said, but it’s not.

“Because it’s the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect,” Thomas said. 

Last summer, Morgan continued to hold protests, drawing crowds, his displays sometimes shutting down sections of major roads.

Protests related to the Black Lives Matter movement in Greensboro have dwindled, but Morgan’s desire for change and unity remains strong, similar to other local activists. But they’re going about it in other ways — rallies, community outreach and voting education.

Morgan said he has seen change in the city.

“I’ve definitely seen just a difference overall in culture,” he said. “Just the way that we interact with people here in the city of Greensboro.”

Morgan said he believes that, for the most part, the Greensboro Police Department is full of great officers that want to “do a good job.” There are still changes he’d like to see like more “protecting and serving” and less “policing.”

Overall, though, Morgan believes the city and police are headed in the “right direction.”

Thomas, however, thinks the city has a long way to go.

“The biggest thing that I have learned about the city following the George Floyd protests, following all of the organizing that we’ve been doing around policing and accountability, is that we absolutely have to build people power,” Thomas said. 

It’s voting, Thomas said. It’s making sure the right people are in power. It’s signing petitions. It’s people rallying together for the same cause. 

“In the last electoral cycle, we flipped the county commission to get from a 5-4 Republican majority to a 7-2 Democratic majority,” Thomas said. “It’s not perfect, but it’s made big strides.”

There are plenty of policies that activists like Thomas would like to see adopted to limit what she deems unnecessary interaction between police and the community — policies that would keep officers from being able to harm people and remain on the right side of the law. Policies that would keep homeless from being arrested for simply having nowhere to go. Policies that would decriminalize marijuana.

Proper funding keeps programs Thomas would like to see expanded from reaching their full potential, like the Cure Violence program — an initiative that sends people into neighborhoods to interrupt violence between residents before it can start. The program’s efforts in the Smith Homes area and the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive corridor have led to a decrease in violent crime there.

But attempts by activists to garner change don’t always end in success. 

Last year, when Thomas and others fought for City Council to adopt a written consent policy — a policy that would require officers to get written consent before searching a person, car or residence — they didn’t think they were asking for too much. 

“This isn’t something that is a radical, left-wing thing,” Thomas said. 

When it came time to put it to a vote, elected officials decided against adopting it. 

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That proved one thing to Thomas:

“We have to build the power to be able to take them out and put new people in.”

Council members don’t see their vote in September on written consent as a policy failure. Far from it. 

They were divided about whether the policy would provide too much of a distraction for officers already struggling with potentially dangerous situations during traffic stops. The measure failed by a 5-4 vote.

Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, a tireless advocate for the Black community, was one who voted against it. But not for obvious reasons, she said.

She was not so much concerned about police convenience, she said, as she was concerned that police all too often use petty offenses as an excuse to make unnecessary traffic stops of minorities.

Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann, who also opposed the measure, said, “to have to go through that signed consent step places an undue burden on an officer in what can be a critical situation.”

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said the alternative measure that was passed by council, to require police to get a motorist’s verbal consent on a body-worn camera video, would provide more indisputable proof and be more convenient for officers.

Abuzuaiter, one of council’s more outspoken advocates for police, said the city is on the right track, making changes before the Floyd protests and continuing those outreach efforts in the past year.

“I think Greensboro is always attuned to feelings in the community,” she said. “The manager, the city employees, the police — they have been trying all along to help bridge the gap in our community to help those who are underserved.

“While the looting and violence that happened was unfortunate, we did not experience the level of destruction that other cities had.”

Council members defend the ways they’ve recognized concerns of protesters, saying that even before the protests, the city and police chief changed things in ways that made a difference in the past year.

But some say the city should be doing more. 

Councilman Justin Outling, who is running for mayor against Vaughan, says city leaders have let down residents by failing to vote as a council to make these changes.

Case in point: Greensboro council never took a formal vote on any of the “8 Can’t Wait” policies.

Protesters in Greensboro and across the country called for eight policies — known as “8 Can’t Wait” — to be adopted immediately. Some police policy changes partially address those suggestions but, in many cases, Outling says they don’t go far enough and leave unanticipated loopholes.

Outling said that after Floyd’s death, Vaughan said council would hold a work session to discuss adopting “8 Can’t Wait.” But the work session never took place and the list never appeared on a council agenda last year.

“It has very straightforward policies and even our revised policy differs from ‘8 Can’t Wait,'” Outling said. “For example, ‘8 Can’t Wait’ has an outright ban on chokeholds. Our new policy is, no chokeholds, no strangleholds — unless we really need it.”

“I’m not saying our standard is wrong, but let’s not confuse the public into believing we’ve made changes where we haven’t.”

Outling blames Vaughan for the lack of action. He said she could’ve asked for that work session, but chose to allow police and other city departments to make the changes council should’ve approved. Other city councils, like in Charlotte, have taken action on “8 Can’t Wait,” and that makes Greensboro look bad, Outling feels.

Vaughan believes the city’s response is comprehensive and more thorough than what 8 Can’t Wait allowed.

“Nobody’s going to support police brutality, but the police chief and City Council were active in looking at 8 Can’t Wait and going beyond that,” she said. “It would’ve been easy to check those boxes and say we did it.”

Abuzuaiter said council is not the place to make police policy changes, even if, as Outling said, a new chief could reverse any policies James puts in place.

“I don’t believe it’s appropriate for us to have him change policies and directives,” Abuzuaiter said. “A new police chief could change those things. But also a new City Council could change those things. I entrust it to our police chief to make sure what was done in the ‘8 Can’t Wait’ was adopted by our police department. I don’t believe any chief will come in and change those back to the way they were before.”

In the wake of Smith’s death, the entire police department is going through racial equality training, Vaughan said, and improving the way police interact with the mentally ill is a top priority. It’s one of the many things Vaughan said the city has done to enhance policing and make it safer for the public and officers.

These changes, she said, began after Smith’s 2018 death and well before Floyd’s death.

The city now offers the “Take Me Home” program in which families with a mentally-challenged or disabled person can register with the city so officers know before they respond that a person may react unfavorably to flashing lights or have an aversion to being touched, for example.

“This is all voluntary and it is confidential and a family can fill these forms out to let the police department know what they could be encountering,” Vaughan said. “All I know is that we’re having really meaningful discussions throughout the community and I believe that we have significant changes that have been driven by those discussions. 

“You can support police and neighborhoods and activists at the same time. We all want the same thing. We all want everybody to be safe.”

Chief Brian James won’t comment on the Smith case, or any case that’s still in litigation. 

But when he thinks about the past year — one marred by a pandemic, a record-shattering number of homicides and a contentious relationship between supporters of the Smith family and the police department — James said he doesn’t think of the protests as a setback. 

James, who became chief in January 2020, said there was no “playbook” to go by when protests began. Despite that, he’s pleased with how the department handled the protests. 

“We actually facilitated the ability of people to exercise their First Amendment right. I think my officers and my department … I think we did it very well.”

James acknowledges the damage caused by a small group of people on South Elm Street during the protests, and though police did a “thorough investigation,” he said when it comes to arrests, “we didn’t make many.” 

He attributes the lack of arrests to the “chaos and confusion” that came along with the looting and damages. Video footage was limited, James said, and even with it, it was hard to identify “who did what.”

Many of the people police did identify were not from Greensboro, James said, though they were protest participants earlier in the evening.

James thinks the relationships he and the department have with community members “played a large role” in police being able to “handle everything peacefully.” A Greensboro native, James said he has longstanding relationships with many of the activists who came out and organized amid the protests. He said the protests opened the door to contact with community members that the pandemic inhibited for months.

Greensboro Police Chief Brian James discusses what has changed in the city since the local protests last year after George Floyd’s death at th…

“You’d be surprised how many conversations there were that weren’t captured by media or even on social media … how many conversations that actually took place between the protesters and the officers that actually helped to bridge gaps.”

After the death of Floyd and just one day before protests began in Greensboro, James held a press conference. He condemned the actions of Chauvin, along with the behavior of the other officers that stood by while Floyd was killed. He called the charges against Chauvin “completely appropriate” and said the incident “left a stain on law enforcement nationwide.”

After protests began in Greensboro, James held a second press conference, during which he announced policy modifications made in a direct response to Floyd’s death.

One of those modifications included prohibiting the use of chokeholds and strangleholds. 

“We never authorized chokeholds,” James said. “We didn’t teach them, but the policy didn’t specifically spell out that you couldn’t use them.”

James said more than 40 policy modifications were made in 2020, but that many of the things the nation and community were calling for, Greensboro police “already had in place.”

Larger change within the department came with the institution of new programs and services.

The Behavioral Health Response Team was one of those changes. The unit has been in place since January and is comprised of trained counselors that ride along on mental health calls. 

The group is a direct response to the Smith case. After he died, many argued the tragedy could have been avoided had someone that night been trained to deal with a mental health crisis. 

It’s a program James would like to see expanded. For now, a single squad works Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until about 9 or 10 p.m., James said. Those are the hours that police receive the most calls related to mental health issues. When the team isn’t available and a mental health call is received, Guilford Metro 911 makes an effort to dispatch an officer who has crisis intervention training.

The department is also making it a point to expand mental health services for officers.  

“And actually, we’re doing it after the first year of service,” James said. “Because that first year of service you see a lot of things that you’ve never seen before.”

James said he wants policing to become an attractive profession again, the past year having turned many away from pursuing a career in law enforcement. Recruiting has become difficult not only in Greensboro, but across the country, James said. 

With the city on par to match last year’s homicide record, working together as a community is key in deterring more violence — violence that often leads to increased policing and tense interactions between community members and officers. It’s one of the reasons why James is working on community outreach, like the police department’s new summer jobs program for teens. He hopes it will keep young people productive during what is often the “most vulnerable part of the year.”

If a community is struggling, James said, “oftentimes, crime follows.”

The demonstrations last year “really shined a light for a lot of people on what they see as inequities throughout the city and that’s not a bad thing to uncover,” Hoffmann said.

She said in the 10 years she has served on council, the city has come to recognize that civic and business investment should be going into the neighborhoods and business districts of east Greensboro.

Arts programs, the emphasis on a large multipurpose building project at the Windsor-Chavis Community Center and other projects will bring needed attention to that part of the city, she added.

“I’ve said this before,” Hoffmann said. “I hope I live long enough in Greensboro so that we don’t talk about east Greensboro and west Greensboro. We just talk about Greensboro.”

Councilwoman Hightower, who represents east Greensboro, remains skeptical that council has done enough to rid her district of the embedded problems its residents fight daily.

“While the police chief might have said, ‘We’ve done things,’ it’s still a struggle to have investment in our community. We talk around the police and we talk about giving them more resources,” Hightower said. “Where are those resources that need to go into the community?”

During the most destructive part of the George Floyd demonstrations, Hightower said, Black-owned businesses were hardest hit.

And the city might not have gone far enough to help rebuild or heal, she said.

“Have we done some stuff? Maybe. Could we have done better? Yes,” she said. “Our community is still fractured.” 

A look at the 2020 protests in pictures:

Photos: Scenes of protest, unrest, cleanups and prayer in Greensboro

Protest 1

Protest 1

Protesters raise their fist in the air as Bishop Freddie Marshall of Christ Cathedral of the Triad speaks using a bullhorn in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest

Protest organizer Anthony Morgan II leads a chant of the names of black men killed by police in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro in May.



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Protest (copy)

Protesters sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, while in police custody. in Minneapolis move along Elm Street in Greensboro on Saturday. His death also sparked several other cities around the country, including Charlotte on Friday night and Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Fayetteville on Saturday. More protests were continuing Saturday evening.



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Protest 2

Protesters cross the railroad bridge on Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest

Protesters sparked by the death of George Floyd stand in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest

Rainman Simmons wears a mask that reads “I can’t breathe” while protesting the death of George Floyd in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protesters sparked by the death of George Floyd move along Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest

Damorius Fuller leads protesters on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest Follow

Someone left the message “United we stand” on a board covering a store front on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Protest Follow

Roy Sears covers a transom on a vintage door to apartments on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. Sears said, “Wood that old with that character, it makes me cry putting a screw in it.”



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Protest Follow

Many store fronts along South Elm Street have been covered with plywood in anticipation of more protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Protest Follow

Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan at a press conference in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Protest Follow

Sheriff Danny Rogers at a press conference in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Protest Follow

Greensboro Police Chief Brian L. James at a press conference in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Protest

Protest organizer Anthony Morgan thanks protesters for being peaceful and ask them not to join any violent protests later in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020. These protesters ended after stopping traffic on Interstate 40.



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Riot

A looter exits a store on South Elm Street after a peaceful protest turns violent in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters run as rocks are thrown on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters argue among themselves in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

A protester gives a history lesson in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters move along on Elm Street as police drive by after someone started throwing rocks during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Zach Whitworth writes “We stand with you” on the inside of the windows on Elsewhere on South Elm Street as looting starts across the street Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Law enforcement used shields as the protest turned less peaceful at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

A police officer holds a nonlethal weapon during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

A protester jumps up and down on a vehicle near the railroad tracks on South Elm Street during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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unrest

Looters exit a store on South Elm Street after a peaceful protest turns violent in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

A protester holds a sign in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Riot

Law enforcement in full riot gear take a position at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot Aftermath

Riot Aftermath

Bonchon owner Christina Dong shows an empty cash drawer after looters took its contents during Saturday night’s unrest.


Carl Wilson


Aftermath

Aftermath

Volunteers help board up a business on Sunday following Saturday night’s unrest.


Carl Wilson


Aftermath

Aftermath

Volunteers help board up a business on Sunday following Saturday night’s unrest.


Carl Wilson


clean up

clean up

Protesters gather after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Protesters yell at riot police after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Malik Davis sits on the base of the Nathaniel Greene statue in Greensboro on Monday night.



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protest

Riot police line up outside the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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protest

Neil Soto speaks with police about why he brought a rifle to the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Protester walk away with their hands up as police shine a flash light at them in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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Protesters

Protesters line up along South Elm Street on Monday evening, about the time a citywide curfew began at 8 p.m.



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clean up

The ABC store on Lawndale Drive is boarded up in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Daniel Butz takes his valuables out of his apartment in case his downtown apartment is broken into in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Ronnnie Lefler (right) and Scott Brown board up Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Sarah Sacco paints the name of a business over the boarded window in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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clean up

Mark Lindsay (right) and Dashaun Davis board a law firm in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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protest

Kris Fuller tears up as she looks out the window of her restaurant, Crafted Art of the Taco, during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters hold up their hands in front of police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters help business clean up damage during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

The owner of Charlie Grocery stands by the door after it was vandalized during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Brian Lampkin begins to clean up after the windows were broken at Scuppernong Books during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters help businesses clean up damage during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters take refuge in Crafted Art of the Taco during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters confront riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters kneel in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

A protester spray paints a column during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters say a prayer before beginning a march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

A protester spray paints a cross walk during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Smoke looms behind a wall of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters gather in front of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters hold their hands up in front of police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

A protester smokes a cigarette in front of a wall of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest (copy)

Riot police arrive during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

A protester holds his hand up in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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A protester burns sage in front of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Downtown Greensboro damage

Downtown Greensboro damage

Poke Bowl, a restaurant on North Elm Street, on Monday, June 1, 2020. The shop was vandalized during a protest Sunday night.


Carl Wilson


Protest Tuesday

Protest Tuesday

Protesters stop and chant “Say his name, George Floyd” at a mural of Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died in police custody, being painted by local artist Jenna Rice.



Protest Tuesday

Protest Tuesday

Protesters walk along South Elm about 30 minutes before the 8 p.m. curfew in Greensboro on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.



Protest Tuesday

Protest Tuesday

Protesters march on South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro on Tuesday about 30 minutes before the recently imposed 8 p.m. curfew.



Curfew

Curfew

Police officers on bicycles patrol past the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on South Elm Street as the 8 P.M. curfew begins in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.



Curfew

Curfew

Artist Jenna Rice paints a portrait of George Floyd on a boarded up business on South Elm Street as the 8 P.M. curfew begins in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.



Curfew

Curfew

A car passes an information sign letting people know that there is an 8 P.M. curfew begins in Greensboro, N.C., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

Dylan McSwain, 6, says a prayer during the vigil at West Market Street United Methodist Church. “Dear God, today I pray for children like me who don’t understand why this happened,” Dylan began. His 7-year-old sister, Marley, also spoke.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

Richard Shannon prays during a prayer vigil at West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro on Wednesday.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

People attend a prayer vigil Wednesday at West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro. The church congregation stands against the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police and wants to show support and solidarity with the minority community.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

Mary Helen Wood (left) and Pam Strader hold up signs during the vigil Wednesday.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

Natalyn Williams listens during a vigil at West Market Street United Methodist Church Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

People gather during a vigil at West Market Street United Methodist Church Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



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20200604g_nws_vigil

People gather during a vigil at West Market Street United Methodist Church Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

A memorial to George Floyd in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

Protesters march along South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

A memorial to George Floyd in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

Protesters march along South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



HP Unrest Follow

HP Unrest Follow

Chirstine Lerner, the manager of the Penny Path Cafe and Crepe Shop in High Point, on Wednesday holds the rock that was thrown through the restaurant’s window over the weekend. Lerner said the rock was thrown with enough force to break the glass window, bounce off a bar stool, continue into the restroom and break the commode. High Point imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew after the protest violence.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

A protesters on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



Protest Wednesday

Protest Wednesday

A Greensboro Police vehicle moves along South Elm Street after the 8 p.m. curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.



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Photos: Protests in Greensboro peaceful on Monday evening

clean up

clean up

Protesters yell at riot police after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Protesters gather after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Protesters march through downtown after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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protest

Riot police line up outside the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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protest

Neil Soto speaks with police about why he brought a rifle to the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

A protester stands in the street in front of riot police in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Riot police meet protesters after curfew in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



Protesters

Protesters

Protesters line up along South Elm Street on Monday evening, about the time a citywide curfew began at 8 p.m.



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Photos: Downtown Greensboro cleans up Monday after a second night of protests

clean up

clean up

Sarah Sacco paints the name of a business over the boarded window in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Mark Lindsay (front) and Dashaun Davis board a law firm in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Mark Lindsay (right) and Dashaun Davis board a law firm in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Daniel Butz takes his valuables out of his apartment in case his downtown apartment is broken into in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



Downtown Greensboro damage – former Bank of America building

Downtown Greensboro damage - former Bank of America building

Two men inspect damage at the former Bank of America buildings at North Elm Street and West Friendly Avenue in downtown Greensboro on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building’s first-floor windows were extensively damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Bank of America building

Downtown Greensboro damage - Bank of America building

A worker cleans up broken glass outside the former Bank of America building on North Elm Street in downtown Greensboro on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building’s first-floor windows were extensively damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Bank of America ATM

Downtown Greensboro damage - Bank of America ATM

This Bank of America ATM on North Elm Street in downtown Greensboro is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The ATM was damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Lincoln Financial Building

Downtown Greensboro damage - Lincoln Financial Building

The North Elm Street side of the Lincoln Financial Building in downtown Greensboro is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building’s first-floor windows were extensively damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Elon Law

Downtown Greensboro damage - Elon Law

Elon University employee Dale Moore (right) prepares to put plywood over a broken window at Elon University School of Law on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building was damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Elon Law

Downtown Greensboro damage - Elon Law

The Elon University School of Law building is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building, at West Friendly Avenue and North Greene Street, was damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Elon Law

Downtown Greensboro damage - Elon Law

The Elon University School of Law building is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building, at West Friendly Avenue and North Greene Street, was damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Commerce Place

Downtown Greensboro damage - Commerce Place

Graffiti on the side of the Commerce Building on Commerce Place in downtown Greensboro is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building was vandalized during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Union Coffee Co

Downtown Greensboro damage - Union Coffee Co

A sign on the front door of Union Coffee Co. on West Friendly Avenue in downtown Greensboro is shown on Monday, June 1, 2020. Plywood saved the store’s windows from being damaged during overnight protests, but the building’s front was spray-painted with graffiti. Workers and volunteers were cleaning up outside Monday morning. “It’s a team effort out here,” said Daniel Davidson, one of the coffee shop’s co-founders.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Barry Snyder sign

Downtown Greensboro damage - Barry Snyder sign

A business sign on West Friendly Avenue in downtown Greensboro is shown here on Monday, June 1, 2020. The sign was vandalized during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Subway

Downtown Greensboro damage - Subway

Todd McKenzie (left) and building owner Rex Tuggle inspect the broken glass of the building that holds a Subway sandwich shop in downtown Greensboro on Monday, June 1, 2020. The North Elm Street building was damaged during overnight protests.



Downtown Greensboro damage – Center Pointe

Downtown Greensboro damage - Center Pointe

A pedestrian walks by the boarded-up first-floor windows of the Center Pointe condominiums on North Elm Street in downtown Greensboro on Monday, June 1, 2020. The building appeared to be undamaged from overnight protests.



clean up

clean up

The ABC store on Lawndale Drive is boarded up in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Ronnnie Lefler (right) and Scott Brown board up Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



clean up

clean up

Madison Gibson (left) helps Daniel Butz put valuables in his car in case his downtown apartment is broken into in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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Photos: Protests continue in Greensboro Sunday

Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Protesters chant as the walk along South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Protesters chant “No justice. No Peace and Say his name, George Floyd” as they pause for a train crossing South Elm Street on Sunday.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Protesters walk along South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Mindy Walcer with Terra Blue, a business on South Elm Street, hands out water to protesters as they move along in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Brinna Harley and Christine Jones raise their hands in solidarity with protesters walking on Gate City Blvd. in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

Protesters kneel and raise their fists during more protests on Sunday on South Elm Street in Greensboro.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



Protest Sunday

Protest Sunday

in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Photos: Protesters, police, vandals and businesses owners showed up in downtown Greensboro on Sunday night

protest

protest

Kris Fuller tears up as she looks out the window of her restaurant, Crafted Art of the Taco, during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters confront riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters hold up their hands in front of police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters help business clean up damage during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters help businesses clean up damage during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Brian Lampkin begins to clean up after the windows were broken at Scuppernong Books during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Steve Mitchell begins to clean up after the windows were broken at Scuppernong Books during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Steve Mitchell begins to clean up after the windows were broken at Scuppernong Books during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

The owner of Charlie Grocery stands by the door after it was vandalized during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Protesters take refuge in Crafted Art of the Taco during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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protest

Smoke looms behind a wall of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters confront riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters kneel in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters kneel in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters kneel in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester holds his hands up in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester holds his hands up in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester holds his hands up in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters are met with a wall of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester spray paints a column during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester spray paints a column during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Police and protesters during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester spray paints a cross walk during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters hold their hands up in front of police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters say a prayer before beginning a march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters gather in front of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester burns sage in front of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester smokes a cigarette in front of a wall of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

A protester holds his hand up in front of riot police during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Riot police arrive during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Riot police arrive during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



protest

protest

Protesters march during the second night of protests in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday, May 31, 2020.



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Photos: Protesters gather in Greensboro

Protest

Protest

Protesters hold signs up at the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

A Greensboro police officer hands protesters a case of water in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Zach Huckaby raises a fist in solidarity with protesters marching along Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Damorius Fuller leads protesters on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Protesters sparked by the death of George Floyd move along Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Rainman Simmons wears a mask that reads “I can’t breathe” while protesting the death of George Floyd in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Protesters sparked by the death of George Floyd stand in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Protest organizer Anthony Morgan II leads a chant of the names of black men killed by police in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro in May.



Protest

Protest

A man in a stopped car supports protesters marching along Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest

Protest

Marquis Bell gives protesters a civics lesson on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest 2

Protest 2

Protesters cross the railroad bridge on Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest 1

Protest 1

Protesters raise their fist in the air as Bishop Freddie Marshall of Christ Cathedral of the Triad speaks using a bullhorn in the intersection of Gate City Boulevard and Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Protest in downtown Greensboro

Protest in downtown Greensboro

Protesters gather Saturday afternoon in downtown Greensboro. The city is the latest to see protesters gather over the in-custody death of a black Minneapolis man, George Floyd, who was handcuffed and on his stomach as a white police officer held him in place with a knee to the back of his neck as Floyd called out, “I can’t breathe.” The officer was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.



Protests continue into night on Saturday in Greensboro

Protests continue into night on Saturday in Greensboro

Protesters gather at the intersection of E. McGee and South Elm streets in downtown Greensboro on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Protest

Protest

Protest organizer Anthony Morgan thanks protesters for being peaceful and ask them not to join any violent protests later in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020. These protesters ended after stopping traffic on Interstate 40.



Photos: Peaceful protests downtown followed by looting, vandalism

unrest

unrest

Looters exit a store on South Elm Street after a peaceful protest turns violent in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

A looter exits a store on South Elm Street after a peaceful protest turns violent in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters run as rocks are thrown on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters argue among themselves in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

A protester gives a history lesson in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters move along on Elm Street as police drive by after someone started throwing rocks during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Law enforcement used shields as the protest turned less peaceful at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

A police officer holds a nonlethal weapon during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters argue among themselves in front of the Internatinal Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Protesters face off with law enforcement in full riot gear at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

A protester jumps up and down on a vehicle near the railroad tracks on South Elm Street during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

A protester holds a sign in front of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Law enforcement in full riot gear take a position at the railroad tracks on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Zach Whitworth writes “We stand with you” on the inside of the windows on Elsewhere on South Elm Street as looting starts across the street Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

Law enforcement in full riot gear arrive on South Elm Street after someone started throwing rocks at police cars during the protest in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



Riot

Riot

People walk by a store that had its window broken by rioters after a peaceful protest turned violent on South Elm Street in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday, May 30, 2020.



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Contact Jamie Biggs at 336-373-4476 and follow @JamieBiggsNR on Twitter.

Contact Richard M. Barron at 336-373-7371 and follow @BarronBizNR on Twitter.

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