A video recorded by a city councilman appears to show Charlotte police pepper-spraying a group of counter-protesters at a Back the Blue rally in uptown on Saturday.
Protesters were holding a rally to show support for police during a time of crisis and tension, and calls to defund police departments. In the video, counter-protesters appeared to confront officers who were holding bicycles in a line, as a blockade. CMPD says one protester attempted to steal on of the bikes and one of the officers deployed pepper spray. No arrests were made.
The video was recorded by City Councilman Ed Driggs.
On Friday a judge lifted a temporary restraining order that prohibited CMPD from the use of pepper spray.
Multiple counter-protesters told Fox 46 reporter Jenyne Donaldson that the man being pepper-sprayed was not trying to steal the bike and that the officer pushed him with the bike and the protester pushed it back.
This comes on the heels of scrutiny of the department’s handling of George Floyd protesters. During one incident, CMPD appeared to corner in a group of protesters, late at night, who had nowhere to go. An internal investigation was conducted along with SBI and no fault was found in the department’s handling of the situation.