The following story from the Raleigh News & Observer outlines Raleigh’s Mayor Charles Meeker thoughts on the arrests of eight occupiers at the Capitol. Mayor Meeker was not happy because Raleigh police aided Capitol police without an assault on a Capitol police officer? Maybe we should clarify the role of the Raleigh police, State police, Capitol police and the General Assembly police in Raleigh so that his confusion will not impede one set of police assisting another set of police in the future.
The arrests of eight people Thursday at an Occupy Raleigh protest did not sit well with Mayor Charles Meeker.
Meeker said it was his understanding that Raleigh police would get involved only “if there were an assault on a Capitol Police Officer or other similar disturbance.”
But a different scenario played out. City officers aided Capitol Police in arresting eight people, including a disabled woman sitting on a chair, after the demonstrators refused to leave a sidewalk in front of the Capitol.
“The City Council needs to provide guidance” to city brass on how to balance the rights to assembly and free speech with the need for orderly conduct, Meeker wrote in a memo to his colleagues Friday. “I am concerned that the constitutional rights are not being given adequate weight.”
A protest leader said Occupy Raleigh had contacted City Manager Russell Allen for help but found that Allen’s hands were tied because the sidewalk falls under the jurisdiction of Capitol Police.
Meeker said he wants to know more about what the state police have asked Raleigh officers to do. The mayor will bring the issue up for discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting at 1 p.m.