North Carolina protesters again take to the streets demanding rollback of COVID-19 safety measures

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020
3 ReOpen NC protesters arrested for violating executive order
3 ReOpen NC protesters arrested for violating executive order

NORTH CAROLINA -- Activists who want the North Carolina government to roll back coronavirus safety regulations on businesses took to the streets again Tuesday.

ReOpen NC protesters gathered outside the General Assembly in Raleigh starting at 11 a.m.

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The protests were largely peaceful but three arrests were made.

Lisa Todd of Raleigh, Wendy Macasieb of Catawba and Ashley Smith of Morganton were all charged with violation of an executive order and resisting a public officer.

Smith is one of the organizers of the ReOpen NC Facebook group.

There were an estimated 350 people gathered at the protest at 11:30 a.m.

Counter-protesters also came out for Tuesday's rally. A group of people dressed in scrubs and wearing medical masks stood across the street from the ReOpen NC protesters. Some ReOpen protesters began shouting and heckling the counter-protesters.

Gov. Roy Cooper was asked about the protests during his Tuesday afternoon coronavirus press briefing.

"I understand that people are eager to ease these restrictions, I know it's frustrating to stay at home so much. A lot of families are hanging by a thread," he said. "The thing we have to put first and foremost is the public health and safety of North Carolinians. We have to make sure things are safe."

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"I'm very eager to move into our phases of reopening," Cooper said. "We're going to rely on the science, we're going to rely on the data, and we're going to rely on the facts in order to move forward."

It's the third such protest in the last few weeks. Tuesday's protest comes as state legislators return to work to debate a $1.4 billion emergency spending plan touted as a way to help small businesses and expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Another administrator for the ReOpen NC Facebook page said on Monday that she was finishing up her 14-day COVID-19 quarantine.

Audrey Whitlock said she tested positive for the virus but has since gotten better.

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