Three Women Arrested in I-40 Protest That Caused 10-Mile Traffic Backup
Raleigh, NC – Three protesters were arrested yesterday during a “slow roll” protest along Interstate 40 through Raleigh, NC that resulted in a 10-mile traffic backup.
A group of protesters calling for the defunding of the Raleigh Police Department demonstrated on Wednesday morning and brought traffic to a crawl along a stretch of I-40.
The protest was dubbed the “Young Americans Protest” and began at 8:46 a.m. in observance of the 8 minutes and 46 seconds Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck.
Multiple local news outlets with reporters on the scene said “hundreds” of motorists participated by slowing their vehicles down to 10 m.p.h. while traveling in the westbound lanes.
The theme of the protest was “Slow Down to Stop Racism,” according to CBS 17.
While it is unclear if interfering with interstate commerce and impeding the flow of traffic will accomplish the group’s stated goals, what is clear is they were successful in creating a traffic nightmare.
Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol (NCHP) said the protest resulted in a 10-mile traffic backup.
During the course of the demonstration, NCHP pulled over and arrested three motorists.
The NCHP identified three women, Rachel Jones, 35, of Carrboro; Kristina Breneman, of Raleigh; and Taari Coleman, 27, of Raleigh, and charged them each with careless and reckless driving and impeding traffic.
Video from the scene reveals NCHP stopped the flow of traffic completely for a few minutes in order to safely apprehend the female protesters.
The protest lasted until until approximately 9:30 a.m., but officials said traffic remained backed up for quite some time.
“This morning’s protest on one of our state’s major thoroughfares placed motorists in needless danger,” Colonel Glenn McNeill of the NCHP said following the protest, according to WRAL. “The actions demonstrated by the protesters involved increased the probability for collisions to occur, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.”
No collisions were reported.
Truckers and many motorists continue to express frustration about protesters blocking and impeding interstates and bridges, yet such demonstrations continue to be planned in cities across America.
Despite laws making the interference of interstate commerce a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to prioritize cracking down on this growing trend.