District Attorney’s Office identifies 8 people arrested during Sunday night protests

District Attorney’s Office identifies 8 people arrested during Sunday night protests
Protestors and law enforcement clashed on the streets of downtown Wilmington on May 31, 2020. (Source: WECT/Emily Featherston, WECT)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The District Attorney’s Office has identified the eight individuals who were arrested during Sunday’s protests in downtown Wilmington.

Those arrested are:

  • Justice Lquan Bailey - charged with failure to disperse on command, and inciting a riot
  • Edward James Timothy Joynt - charged with failure to disperse on command, and inciting a riot
  • Rodney Lamont Smith - charged with failure to disperse on command
  • Katherine Hannah Koile - charged with failure to disperse on command
  • Charles Anthony McIntyre - charged with failure to disperse on command, and curfew violation
  • Grace Elizabeth Morton - charged with failure to disperse on command, and curfew violation
  • Jaquan Marice Rhone - charged with failure to disperse on command, and curfew violation
  • Takeem Leinard Collins - charged with failure to disperse on command, and curfew violation

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Danielle George was arrested as part of Sunday night’s protests. The District Attorney’s Office has since clarified her charge, saying it was related to a curfew violation at Independence Mall.

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said seven of the eight people arrested gave Wilmington or Pender County addresses. An eighth person had a Greensboro address.

Rodney Smith, the only accused protestor that was still in jail, made his first court appearance on the failure to disperse charge Monday afternoon and claimed he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I wasn’t part of that. Every Sunday, I go downtown, I go to a restaurant and eat, and walk on the water, and go home. I was just cutting through the library...I didn’t even know a riot was going on,” Smith said during the appearance. "I just seen a lot of people and was like “they doing that down here?' When I started to leave, a cop comes up to me and tells me to put my hands behind my back.”

The judge gave Smith an unsecured bond and he was later released from jail.

A crowd of protesters started gathering at the steps of Wilmington City Hall around 6 p.m. Sunday, with demonstrators later chanting “George Floyd,” “no justice, no peace,” and “can’t breathe.”

New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies used gas to try to move the crowd along shortly after 8 p.m. — two hours into the protest at nearby Thalian Hall. Law enforcement said multiple objects were thrown at the New Hanover County courthouse.

According to a tweet from the WPD, protesters began throwing fireworks at vehicles on Front and Princess streets just before 9 p.m.

Gas was again deployed shortly before 9:30 p.m.

Protestors also shattered windows at two downtown businesses — 128 South and Ironclad Brewery — and damaged the windshield of a WPD patrol car.

Crowds largely disbanded later in the evening, but rumors persisted as to potential future problem areas for the city. Police and deputies were patrolling several locations in the city, including Independence Mall and Mayfaire.

Mayor Bill Saffo eventually issued a state of emergency with a city curfew lasting until 6 a.m. Monday.

The city of Wilmington tweeted this afternoon that officials aren’t expected to implement a curfew for Monday night.

Sunday’s protests stood in stark contrast to the more somber and peaceful event on Saturday, where people of all ages and backgrounds brought signs to display, chanted and talked about creating meaningful change in their own communities.

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