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2nd night of protests against GOP convention in Charlotte

August 22, 2020
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Protesters express themselves to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police bike officers at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and College Street in uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Protesters returned to the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, to demonstrate for a second night as GOP officials gathered in the city for the Republican National Convention.

Police used bicycles to block protesters Saturday night from gathering close to the Charlotte Convention Center, the site of the convention. The Secret Service set up a perimeter, news outlets reported.

The demonstrators’ chants included, “No RNC in CLT” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Several people were arrested Friday, and at least one person was arrested Saturday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police tweeted that a protester armed with a gun was arrested, and earlier stated that pepper spray was used to stop another protester armed with a pole “from advancing on officers.”

Friday night, a group of about 60 demonstrators left a park and began a march throughout uptown Charlotte, authorities said.

Police said the group briefly trespassed onto light rail tracks, temporarily disrupting service. Demonstrators later impeded traffic by surrounding a vehicle that was attempting to travel through an intersection, police said. William Gissentaner was arrested and charged with impeding traffic, disorderly conduct and resisting a public officer, police said.

Police say demonstrators surrounded another vehicle as they continued to march, and three more people were arrested shortly after. Nolan Strout was charged with two counts of assaulting a government official and resisting a public officer, police said. Antonio Marotta and Olivia Turley were arrested and charged with assault on a government official and resisting a public officer, police said.

While police were making the arrests, several demonstrators started interfering with the arrests, and police used pepper spray, authorities said.

GOP officials in Charlotte are expected to vote to renominate President Donald Trump in a small in-person session on Monday.

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