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Protesters In Davidson, Durham Call For Justice

Black Lives Matter die-in protest in Davidson
Jonathan Cox/DavidsonNews.net
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More than 125 Davidson College students and some faculty members staged a ‘die-in’ protest Saturday night, lying down in the middle of Main Street during the Christmas in Davidson festival. Our news partner DavidsonNews.net reports the students were calling for justice in recent incidents of violence and alleged police brutality against black people.

Students dressed in black, and wore white T-shirts with the names of black victims, from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown to Eric Garner. Some had signs bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter,” which has become a rallying cry for protests against racially-motivated police brutality around the country.

Student leader Gladys McLean used a bullhorn to read the names of victims and to explain the protest to passersby.  “A black man is killed by a white police officer, black women, black children, black people have become the targets of white racist brutality, and we are tired,” she said.

Organizers coordinated with police before the protest, which remained peaceful.  Many onlookers applauded, but speakers also faced a heckler shouting “go away."

At a similar protest In Durham Friday night, 31 people were arrested after they stopped traffic and didn't follow orders.  Police said six protesters were arrested outside the Durham Performing Arts Center when they disrupted people leaving a show by comedian John Oliver. About 25 more were arrested several blocks away. Most of the protest was peaceful. More than 100 protesters also marched to the Durham Freeway, shutting down traffic for about 30 minutes. Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez says no one was injured, but the windows were shattered on a police car. 

UBER DRIVER FINED IN CHARLESTON

In Charleston, South Carolina, a man believed to be the first driver arrested while working for Internet ride-sharing company Uber has been fined $437.  The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that Taft Navarro was found guilty Thursday. He was ticketed in October after dropping off a passenger at Charleston airport. South Carolina law requires companies and drivers to have a certificate showing they've been inspected, had a criminal background check and are insured. Uber provides insurance and requires a background check, but does not require a certificate.  Like Charlotte, Charleston is working on new rules to accommodate Uber and other for-profit ride-sharing services. In the meantime, Uber paid Navarro's fine and will pay any other fines for its drivers.

MISSING MAN’S BODY FOUND ON GREENWAY

Police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old Charlotte man who  disappeared last weekend after leaving for ride on his mountain bike. The body of Bradley Hill was found Friday morning on the McMullen Creek Parkway, off Pineville-Matthews Road.  He had not been seen since last Sunday afternoon, November 30th, when he left his home on Glenway Court. He never returned home and police this week issued a missing person alert. Hill often rode on the greenways and trails in the area.  Charlotte Mecklenburg Police area asking anyone with information to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. 

BAD COCAINE KILLS 3

Chatham County deputies say three people died and 10 people were hospitalized Saturday after using cocaine laced with a painkiller. The 13 people lived around Siler City and Bear Creek and became sick early Saturday within within an hour after using the cocaine.   The State Crime Lab tested the cocaine and found it contained the narcotic painkiller Fenta-nyl.  A 42-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 23-year-old man all died. At least one of the other people is in critical condition.  Federal officials are helping in the investigation.

CHARLESTON MARKS PEARL HARBOR DAY

It’s December 7th, the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A memorial service is planned today aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Charleston Harbor. Featured speakers include retired Major General James Livingston, a recipient of the Medal of Honor.  The ceremony will the tolling of bells in honor of the 25 South Carolinians who died in the attack.

GAMING OPERATION BROKEN UP

Federal authorities have broken up a family-run sweepstakes gaming enterprise in South Carolina that prosecutors say served more than 600 Internet cafes across the country. Investigators say the operation, called Frontier Software Systems, raked in nearly 250 million dollars. The company and its leaders pleaded guilty in to related charges this week at U.S. District Court in Greenville, South Carolina.  Frontier provided gaming software and machines to cafes in North Carolina, New York, Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, Alabama and other states. As part of plea agreements, the defendants forfeited $20 million.