After a night of violent protests, Governor Roy Cooper said as many as 450 guardsmen would be available to North Carolina cities with the focus on protecting public structures.
In a rare Sunday press conference, the governor said he had spoken directly with the mayors of Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte and Fayetteville and granted their request for state support. He also urged the mayors to work with their local police departments to prioritize de-escalating tensions.
“We cannot focus so much on the property damage that we forget why people are in the streets in the first place,” said Cooper.
Governor Cooper says leaders must create an open dialogue with protesters outraged by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“Racism, excessive use of force, health disparities, poverty, white supremacy. These are wrong. They are ugly. But they are present.”
The governor also revealed that he had spoken with Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, who lives in Hoke County.
“While I cannot bring her brother back, I can work for justice in his name.”
The governor said while this is a painful moment for North Carolina and the nation, we must constructively channel our anger to force accountability, fight racism and create thriving communities for everyone.