Our Press

October – December 2023

What happens when private security patrols public streets?

November 7, 2023 | Read More

According to The New York Times, most major cities now have at least three times as many security guards as police officers on their streets. In the past couple of weeks, private security guards began patrolling areas in Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

NC Supreme Court hears arguments on fate of Confederate monument honoring Zebulon Vance in Asheville

November 1, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate NC attorney Jaelyn Miller said the implications of the case are bigger than the issue at hand.

"This court, in overturning that decision, would be stepping in and overturning the will of the people and the will of the duly elected officials in Asheville, and that should alarm all of us,” Miller said.

City leaders debate whether private security group should carry guns in downtown Raleigh

October 31, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman is a social justice activist with Emancipate NC. The city of Raleigh's decision to hire armed private security for the downtown transit center raises many questions for him. Pittman said he felt unarmed security was the "more palatable" option.

"I think hiring private security in the transit area is a recipe for disaster," Pittman said. "How will they be trained? What authority would they have over these individuals as actual citizens patrolling this area?"

When will the NC Supreme Court hear Vance Monument arguments? - The Asheville Citizen Times

October 27, 2023 | Read More

"It puts us in line with other cities across the South and across the nation that are taking these steps toward recognizing what these monuments stand for and coming up with a way to see the future differently.”

Miles and Vance Monument Taskforce co-chair Oralene Simmons are organizing a media briefing in Raleigh following the Nov. 1 arguments and will be joined by Noel Nickle, a local Vance family descendant; Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer; and Jaelyn Miller, community lawyering fellow at Emancipate NC.

‘Life begins at conception’ court ruling could profoundly affect NC families, legal experts sayn near Uptown identified

October 27, 2023 | Read More

“I think the leap and the stretch and the legal gymnastics that it took to include that is very pointed,” said Dawn Blagrove, an attorney and the executive director of Emancipate NC, a social justice organization that combats structural racism, including in the criminal justice system. “I think he went out of his way to do it.”

Op-Ed: It’s Time for Durham County and Courthouse Leaders to Engage on Reforms to Foster Care System

October 23, 2023 | Read More

When Emancipate NC issued a report in 2022 on county-level reforms that the Durham Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Durham courthouse could enact to improve this system, most county leaders refused to meet with us. They told us it was too sensitive a matter and their lawyers advised them not to engage. But how DSS chooses to approach child and family welfare is a matter of public policy, just as much as the practices of the police, the sheriff, and the jail are.

What if Raleigh Had a HEART?

October 18, 2023 | Read More

More services such as shelters, mental health care and drug rehabilitation are needed downtown, according to Jaelyn Miller, a community lawyering fellow with nonprofit Emancipate NC. Right now, when someone has a mental health crisis in public, “we only have one response … they go to jail or they go to the emergency department,” she says.

“When you only have two solutions, you end up funneling everyone into one of two solutions, even though the problem is a spectrum of possibilities,” Miller says.

CRIME CMPD officer who shot, killed man near Uptown identified

October 10, 2023 | Read More

Because Lopez was walking away, attorney and executive director of Emancipate NC Dawn Blagrove told WCNC Charlotte it is imperative the body camera footage of the police officer is released for transparency.

"Law enforcement needs to make sure that it is doing everything that it can do to be fully transparent with the community as quickly as possible, and to provide access to that body cam footage that is being paid for with tax dollars," Blagrove said.

Victims in drug scheme react to former RPD detective guilty plea, sentence

October 4, 2023 | Read More

"The Raleigh Police Department goes unchecked and is held unaccountable for the harms it causes Black and brown communities. For that, the city ought to be ashamed and Lorrin Freeman should be ashamed of herself," said Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

July – September 2023

Salisbury, Rowan settle suit with elderly woman who was pulled by hair at police stop

September 28, 2023 | Read More

Holmes said the case “sends a message to law enforcement and policy makers about the continued need to treat people with respect and protect their Constitutional rights during traffic stops.”

Holmes, who directs the civil litigation clinic at the North Carolina Central University School of Law, was assisted in the long-running case by at least 20 of his law students, he said. Bottom was also represented by Ian Mance, an attorney for Emancipate NC, a Durham-based civil right organization.

SCSJ asks Edenton to request a hearing on monument restraining order

September 13, 2023 | Read More

“The Confederate soldier statue in Edenton, like Confederate statues everywhere, pays homage and respect to America’s racism,” said Jaelyn Miller, community lawyering fellow for Emancipate NC, “The (Move the Monument) Coalition and citizens of Edenton deserve to have their elected officials follow through on their commitment to relocate this statue. The lawsuit holding up that commitment isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

Juvenile petition filed for 16-year-old student after Durham school stabbing

September 11, 2023 | Read More

Restorative justice is a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.

"Durham has a really terrific restorative justice program," [Attorney and Emancipate NC Executive Director Dawn] Blagrove said. "This is the perfect situation to diffuse the situation; to have parties involved speak with one another [and] work through their grievances."

When Politicians Want to Attack the Courts, They Make Black Women Their Targets

September 9, 2023 | Read More

“The message that they’re sending is that North Carolina is a state where Black people, Black women need to be quiet, they should not speak up on the harms that face our communities, they should not talk about systemic and institutional racism that exists in every system all across this country, but specifically here in North Carolina,” [Attorney and Emanciapte NC Executive Director Dawn] Blagrove said.

Teenage boy accused of assaulting police will face adult court

September 5, 2023 | Read More

Attorney Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, an advocacy organization that has voiced support for the family, said that the...

Black North Carolina Supreme Court Judge Alleges She’s Facing Disciplinary Action After Speaking Out About ‘Lack of Diversity’ In State’s Courts; Hits Back with a Lawsuit

September 4, 2023 | Read More

“What we know is that the (judicial complaint) process is being bastardized in an effort to silence Black and brown people. And in this case, particularly, Justice Earls,” Dawn Blagrove of Emancipate NC told WTVD.

North Carolina's GOP leaders push to remove the only black woman Supreme Court judge for speaking up against racial bias

September 1, 2023 | Read More

“This is the beginning of a rallying cry for support for Justice Earls.” Emancipate NC Executive Director Dawn Blagrove says she knows this is just another hidden agenda. “What we know is that the (judicial complaint) process is being bastardized in an effort to silence Black and brown people,” Blagrove said.

North Carolina judge investigated for saying racial bias exists files lawsuit

September 1, 2023 | Read More

“What we know is that the [judicial complaint] process is being bastardized in an effort to silence Black and brown people,” Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, said to WTVD in North Carolina. “And in this case, particularly, Justice Earls.”

Gaston family wants fairness as teens face adult charges

August 31, 2023 | Read More

"If these were white children riding their bikes, trying to get home, the situation would have been handled very differently,” [Emancipate NC's Director Dawn] Blagrove said. “I really believe that, because these are Black boys, this district attorney is using this situation to try to appear ‘tough on crime’ in a way that is having an absolutely absurd result.”

'Taking us back to Jim Crow': Black lawyers say NC Supreme Court investigation motivated by racism

August 30, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove, who leads the civil rights group Emancipate NC, said the investigation is not only an attempt to remove Earls from office, but is part of a broad, Republican-backed effort to silence Black people and politicians with recent bills and laws making it easier for police to charge protesters with felony crimes, or to enact stricter voting rules.

“We are currently under a regime that is dead set on taking us back to Jim Crow,” she said.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice refuses to back down

August 31, 2023 | Read More

“What we know is that the (judicial complaint) process is being bastardized in an effort to silence Black and brown people. And in this case, particularly, Justice Earls,” executive director of Emancipate NC Dawn Blagrove told ABC 11.

Supporters claim North Carolina Supreme Court justice is being ‘silenced’ amid lawsuit

August 31, 2023 | Read More

“What we are seeing happen to Justice Earls is a harbinger for what’s coming for us all and that is the demise of democracy,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC.

North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Suing Over Investigation into her Comments About Diversity

August 31, 2023 | Read More

"What is happening to Justice Earls is a microcosm of what is happening to every Black, brown and marginalized person in North Carolina at the hands of elected officials who are determined to drag this state back to the days of Jim Crow," commentator Dawn Blagrove said.

Supporters defend NC Supreme Court justice who filed lawsuit against judicial board

August 31, 2023 | Read More

"What we know is that the (judicial complaint) process is being bastardized in an effort to silence Black and brown people. And in this case, particularly, Justice Earls," said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC.

Civil rights advocates defend a North Carolina court justice suing over a probe for speaking out

August 30, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove, Emancipate NC's executive director and an attorney, said the unjust investigations serve as examples of the “unrelenting trauma and hostility that Black women lawyers have to face every single day in North Carolina just to do our jobs.”

NC Family Demands Fair Treatment as Teen Brothers Face Adult Charges

August 25, 2023 | Read More

"If these were white children riding their bikes, trying to get home, the situation would have been handled very differently," [Emancipate NC's] Attorney Dawn Blagrove contended. "I really believe that, because these are Black boys, this district attorney is using this situation to try to appear 'tough on crime' in a way that is having an absolutely absurd result."

Grandmother responds to police actions after 10-yr-old autistic grandson handcuffed

August 24, 2023 | Read More

“If this officer had approached this child and this family with compassion with understanding and with humanity this baby would not have spent more than an hour in handcuffs would not have been involuntarily committed. Questioned without her being present he was treated like a criminal that in its essence is the problem,” said Attorney Dawn Blagrove

A blind man waited hours for his ride. Can Raleigh fix its paratransit system?

August 18, 2023 | Read More

“I came here to talk about proactive policing,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC. “And I have the perfect solution: Instead of having 15 Raleigh police officers show up to harass people in southeast Raleigh, why don’t you send them to pick up some of these blind folks that are waiting for four hours at a time?”

Monday numbers: Lack of air conditioning in state prisons is “cooking people alive”

August 14, 2023 | Read More

“It’s just cooking people alive,” said Cierra Cobb, the prison/jail coordinator, family advocate and a podcast host for the advocacy group Emancipate NC. “Some days were unbearable. Everybody was in there sweating...It was causing tension in the block because everybody’s hot.”

Gaston County Teen Faces Attempted Murder Charge for 2021 Tangle with Police

August 4, 2023 | Read More

“Clearly the justice system here in Gastonia is not color-blind, but turns a blind eye to law enforcement brutality,” Kerwin Pittman [from Emancaipte NC] said on Thursday. “Clearly the DA is colluding with law enforcement to try to find these 15-year-old kids guilty.”

Family says NC teen who put officer in headlock was defending his brother

August 4, 2023 | Read More

"Apparently, we have to add 'riding a bike while Black' to the list of activities that can subject Black children to state sanctioned violence," Emancipate NC executive director and attorney Dawn Blagrove.

Family alleges boys mistreated by police

August 3, 2023 | Read More

"Clearly, in Gaston County, as well as Gastonia, there are two types of legal systems… One for black and brown people, and another for those who are not black and brown," Kerwin Pittman said. "(The boys) were unjustly targeted, arrested, brutalized, humiliated... All they wanted to do was go home."

Family outraged after teens charged with attempted murder after assaulting police officer

August 4, 2023 | Read More

“Multiple officers jump on these individuals as they’re on the ground. These are 15-year-old kids for God’s sake. These are kids ... trying to ride their bike home,” Kerwin Pittman from Emancipate NC said.

NC leaders discuss criminal justice reform and changes being made in the state

July 18, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate N.C. executive director Dawn Blagrove said she knows leaders on both sides are having discussions about possible changes but she doesn’t feel like change will happen anytime soon.

“There’s simply not political will to create the changes to make a fair and equitable criminal justice system here in North Carolina,” Blagrove said.

NC’s foster care system is rife with injustice. It’s about to get worse | Opinion

July 10, 2023 | Read More

"A peek behind the curtain would also reveal scores of beloved children who have been brutally separated from their parents by bureaucrats and systematically rerouted into adoptive homes that are wealthier and whiter, on average."

CMPD chief lauds governor, legislators for changes to bond and pretrial release

July 08, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate North Carolina Executive Director Dawn Blagrove described the potential 48-hour wait for a judge as “arbitrary,” and warned that it could have adverse effects, especially on people of color, The Observer reported in May.

April – June 2023

Durham mom wonders why county won’t place her kids with family in Georgia

June 25, 2023 | Read More

“DSS operates in Durham County in a manner that is overwhelmingly racist toward Black families and Black children,” Dawn Blagrove said. “DSS is emerging in a way that works with systemic and institutional racism to keep black families apart.”

High-profile attorney Ben Crump petitions the release of body-cam footage in the killing of a Black man by Wallace PD

June 23, 2023 | Read More

“It is sad that we have to file a lawsuit, a public records lawsuit, just to get a video released," Ben Crump told the crowd. "You know, transparency leads to truth."

Why the Wake DA says Raleigh police officers acted lawfully in man’s tasing death

June 22, 2023 | Read More

"District Attorney Lorrin Freeman decision not to prosecute the officers who killed Darryl Tyree Williams is disgraceful,” [Emancipate NC] wrote. “She has once again failed to protect the Black people of Wake County by rubber-stamping the murder of an unarmed man by Raleigh Police Department."

North Carolina prosecutor won’t charge officers involved in death of man during arrest

June 21, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC, a criminal justice reform group assisting Williams’ family, called Freeman’s decision not to prosecute “disgraceful. She has once again failed to protect the Black people of Wake County by rubberstamping the murder of an unarmed man by Raleigh Police Department.”

No charges filed against Raleigh officers in death of man tased multiple times in police custody

June 21, 2023 | Read More

"[I am] disgusted by the flagrant reminder that DA Lorrin Freeman gave us today that Black lives do not matter," Dawn Blagrove said.

DA: No charges for Raleigh officers after man died in their custody

June 21, 2023 | Read More

“It is sickening that still right now, right now, we have to stand here and console black mothers, ” said Dawn Blagrove, the Executive Director of Emancipate NC.

Wake DA: No charges for police officers who [tased] man outside sweepstakes parlor

June 21, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove claimed [Wake DA] Freeman has a "documented history" that shows her "unwillingness to protect all people in the community."

“Lorrin Freeman should be ashamed of her inability to bring charges in this case," Blagrove said.

Ben Crump, others demand public release of video in James Lanier’s death

June 21, 2023 | Read More

“James should be with us,” said Dawn Blagrove, an attorney with Emancipate NC.

Family urges law enforcement to release video

June 21, 2023 | Read More

In the conference on Wednesday, [Lanier's mother Janet] Brice and the family’s attorneys [including Emancipate NC] want the public to see for themselves and have their own opinion.

Raleigh advocates push for HEART program to come to the city

June 12, 2023 | Read More

Social justice advocates, like Kerwin Pittman, believes they could have prevented the deaths of individuals going through a mental health crisis, citing Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez as an example to where HEART could have helped.

Attorney Ben Crump, family of Darryl Williams addresses autopsy findings

June 9, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate NC filed a 12-page report to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Raleigh Police Department. The report accuses RPD of using excessive force, disregarding policies without consequence, racial profiling and spreading victim-blaming propaganda after officer-involved shootings.

Ben Crump: Wake DA needs to ‘do its part’ in case of man who died after being tased by police

June 9, 2023 | Read More

“Homicide is the death of a person at the hands of another person,” Dawn Blagrove said. “What that means is that someone has to be held responsible. We don’t want any more proactive policing, we don’t want any more Jim Crow, we don’t want any more stop and frisk.”

Attorneys call for officers to be fired, charged after Darryl Tyree Williams' autopsy release

June 9, 2023 | Read More

"What put him in a grave was tasers. He was electrocuted in a parking lot while he was minding his own business," said Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC. "And we need District Attorney Lorrin Freeman to do her job."

Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump demands charges for officers after Darryl Williams' autopsy released

June 9, 2023 | Read More

"We don't want any more Jim Crow. We don't want any more stop and frisk. We don't want any more for the Black people of Raleigh to constantly have to show their freedom papers to be able to live," said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC.

Family, attorneys of man killed by Raleigh police call for criminal charges after autopsy findings

June 9, 2023 | Read More

Attorney Dawn Blagrove with the nonprofit group Emancipate N.C. also spoke at the news conference Friday and called for Freeman to bring charges against the officers involved in Williams’ death.

Attorney Ben Crump, family of Darryl Williams respond to autopsy findings in emotional address

June 7, 2023 | Read More

"We will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of truth, justice, and accountability, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for this senseless loss of life are held accountable and that meaningful changes are implemented to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future,” wrote Dawn Blagrove and Kenneth Abbarno.

Weekly News Roundup: Plaintiffs Reach Settlement Over Wrongful Raleigh Police Raid

June 3, 2023 | Read More

“The Raleigh informant scandal disrupted the lives of many innocent people and caused unnecessary trauma to our clients and others who were subjected to frightening police raids and arrests through no fault of their own,” said Ian Mance.

Raleigh settles lawsuit linked to fired Raleigh detective’s drug raid on wrong home

June 2, 2023 | Read More

"Since the lawsuit was filed more than a year ago, the plaintiffs [represnted by Emancipate NC] have successfully pushed for revisions to Raleigh Police Department policies and procedures, including the use of confidential informants in drug operations and prohibiting warrants in which police enter without warning, according to a media release from the plaintiffs’ attorneys."

Families Traumatized In RPD Raid Settle With City for $350K

June 1, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC ultimately prevailed, however, successfully negotiating a settlement and, critically, putting an end to the use of no-knock warrants in Raleigh."

Raleigh mothers reach settlement in wrongful police raid lawsuit against city

June 1, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC, whose attorneys represent Irving, said the raid at her home was meant for someone being by framed by Abdullah and an informant. They said that while Irving’s address was on the search warrant, there was no evidence connecting Irving or Walton to illegal activity."

'I could have lost two kids': Mother addresses settlement following wrongful RPD raid

June 1, 2023 | Read More

"It took this long because there was a lack of compassion and a lack of willingness to accept accountability for wrongdoing by the Raleigh Police Department. And that lack of accountability," said Dawn Blagrove. "And that lack of compassion runs all the way up to Raleigh City Council."

Attorney Ben Crump retained by family of Wallace naked Black man killed in February by police

May 31, 2023 | Read More

Crump, a civil rights and personal injury lawyer, will be joined by attorney Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC and attorney Kenneth Abbarno.

“If Raleigh had a HEART program…”

May 31, 2023 | Read More

"While Durhamites fight to expand the successful [HEART] program, Raleigh drags its toes in providing people in crisis and their loved ones with the safety and care we deserve," writes Dawn Blagrove.

You’re Pregnant? Prepare to Be Drug Tested Without Consent

May 18, 2023 | Read More

“I think it’s pretty widely known that you can’t drug test a mother without her consent,” Jaelyn Miller said. "[But] [w]hat is legal and what is done in practicality are often different… Even if legally they’re not allowed to do it, they’ll still do it.”

NC bill would halt mandatory reports after prosecutors label officers as untrustworthy

May 15, 2023 | Read More

"This is disgraceful,” Dawn Blagrove said ... She described it as a step back for criminal justice reform that decreased transparency about bad cops.

Mecklenburg criminal justice leaders support more NC judge control over setting bond

May 15, 2023 | Read More

Giving the job of setting more bonds to judges would be one more setback for criminal justice reform, said Emancipate North Carolina Executive Director Dawn Blagrove.

Lawyers, family of man who died after being shocked with Taser by Raleigh police wants justice

May 5, 2023 | Read More

"I want you all to realize what the fight here in North Carolina is really about," Dawn Blagrove said. "It is about district attorneys, who have so much power and so much control, that they get to determine whether or not they are going to wrap themselves and their office around real community safety."

Attorneys, family of Raleigh man who died in police custody call on Wake DA to bring charges against officers

May 5, 2023 | Read More

“We must hold [Wake DA Lorrin Freeman] accountable to investigate the entire situation and not just the portions she picks and chooses. We do not believe the Raleigh Police Department had a constitutional grounds for interacting with Mr. Williams,” said Emancipate NC attorney Dawn Blagrove.

Darryl Williams' family urges Department of Justice to investigate Raleigh Police Department

May 5, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate NC filed a 12-page report to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Raleigh Police Department.

Lawyer Ben Crump demands ‘full justice’ from Wake DA in Raleigh police tasing death

May 5, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove denounced the police officers involved in Williams’ case as part of a “terror unit” and said their interaction with Williams the night of his death was illegal. “District Attorney Freeman says that it is her job to follow the law, and we agree,” Blagrove said.

Group fighting for Durham family sparks change after baby taken from mother

May 1, 2023 | Read More

"We expect for the Department of Social Services to do better," said Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC. "We expect not to have to stand here for decades just get their children the help they needed and in turn to be demonized and criminalized."

ACLU challenges new NC law set to redefine, impose stricter punishments for riots

April 25, 2023 | Read More

“If you chill the movement and you chill the protest, then you chill the benefits to the Black and brown community,” Jaelyn Miller said.

“No right way to tear down oppressive systems”: the risks of toppling Confederate monuments

April 17, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove said that adhering to the law and “following the appropriate channels” isn’t what brings Confederate monuments down. ... “There is no ‘right’ way to tear down oppressive systems.”

Using federal prosecutors can lead to more jail time, says Durham officials

April 20, 2023 | Read More

"This is not a good thing; this is a bad trend that needs to be stopped," said Dawn Blagrove. "Longer sentences do not deter crime; if that were the case, the war on drugs would have been won now."

'Dayve is loved': Family, friends shocked to learn 18-year-old killed in suspected shoplifting case

April 12, 2023 | Read More

"The first questions that come to mind are was this necessary? Because I think we always have to prioritize life over property," Dawn Blagrove said.

This Cop Unleashed a Reign of Terror, Say the Wrongfully Accused

April 9, 2023 | Read More

“I think it’s clear to see that there is a distinctly different way that [Wake DA] Freeman and the Wake County’s District Attorney’s Office handles interactions with law enforcement,” instead of following the “gold standard” laid out in Memphis, says Dawn Blagrove.

January – March 2023 

Some New York Times best sellers are banned in NC prisons

March 29, 2023 | Read More

"When people rights and freedoms are starting to be trampled upon, outside of being incarcerated - and they shouldn't be while incarcerated - but it is extremely concerning on both sides," said Kerwin Pittman.

‘Justice for Shanquella’: Family, attorney Ben Crump speak at Livingstone College

March 25, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate's Dawn Blagrove joined other speakers calling for justice for Shanquella Robinson.

Raleigh attorney stands with Shanquella Robinson's family as they demand government to step up

March 24, 2023 | Read More

"Mexico has already done an investigation; they have already issued a warrant for arrest. And the only real holdup is for the American government to cooperate with that warrant, and extradite the people who have been, charged in this case." explained Dawn Blagrove.

'Do the right thing' | Shanquella Robinson's family, attorney, advocates demand federal action on death investigation

March 23, 2023 | Read More

"We must remember that Black lives matter and that justice for Black lives matters," Dawn Blagrove said.

Attorney to meet with US on Shanquella Robinson case

March 23, 2023 | Read More

“We have a process in place to extradite people who have come to America from Mexico ... and from all over the world to seek a better life,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC. “Why can we not employ those same resources and those same processes [with] people who are a danger to folks in ... Charlotte ...?"

Riot bill stiffens punishment on protestors, has enough votes to override governor veto

March 12, 2023 | Read More

"Critics, including civil rights activists from Emancipate NC, claim the bill is aimed to deter citizens from protesting at all."

Legislation calling for stricter punishments for rioters heads for Governor Cooper's desk

March 10, 2023 | Read More

"Essentially [this bill] intimidates individuals from coming out to participate and exercise their constitutional rights," said Kerwen Pittman with Emancipate NC.

NC Senate approves tougher penalties for rioting, sending bill to Gov. Cooper

March 10, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, said HB 40 was a “racist” bill “designed to harm and limit the voices of Black, brown and marginalized people.”

Tougher riot punishments approved by legislature a 2nd time

March 9, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman with Emancipate NC promised accountability to those supporting this harmful, anti-BLM bill.

North Carolina Senate advances House riot penalties bill

March 7, 2023 | Read More

“The impact will be to stifle the voices of the most marginalized communities. Make no mistake about it,” said Kerwin Pittman, a criminal justice advocate and organizer with Emancipate NC, adding that peaceful protesters wrongly arrested could lose their jobs if they are forced to be held for 24 hours.

NC street gangs growing, carrying more powerful guns than police, Governor's Crime Commission says

March 2, 2023 | Read More

For people struggling to find their way out of the gang lifestyle, [Kerwin] Pittman had one key statement of advice:

"Find somebody who is doing somebody positive and stick with them like your life depends on," he said. "I'm a Black man coming back to redeem the community I once helped to destroy."

For Black motorists, traffic stops are often far from routine

March 2, 2023 | Read More

“If your goal is to reduce the likelihood [of an escalated situation where someone gets seriously injured or killed by police] without impacting public safety in a negative way, we should think about ways we can reduce the number of low-level interactions,” said Ian Mance.

Raleigh's Thin Blue Line

March 2, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove argues against token justice in prosecuting Raleigh's police department, saying, "The only person who’s being held accountable at all for any wrongdoing is Abdullah. Even Abdullah [isn't] really being held accountable. It’s just that [Wake County DA Freeman] knew that she had to bring some ... charge."

Police keep killing Black people. Civilian watchdogs need more authority to make it stop.

February 24, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC, an advocacy group, has issued yet another call for reforms."

Police groups should have NC disciplinary board seats, state lawmakers say

February 23, 2023 | Read More

“The primary reason law enforcement is so out of control is because they are constantly in an echo chamber of their own morals, values and culture,” Dawn Blagrove, the group’s executive director, wrote in an email. “... The only way to break down the blue line is to allow people who suffer at the hands of law enforcement a seat at the accountability table.”

In Durham, Children in Foster Care Struggle to Reunite With Birth Families

February 22, 2023 | Read More

“I was literally placed on this planet to do this,” Jatoia Potts says. “I’ll continue to share my story. My kids will grow up and see later that their mom was still out there, still doing stuff, still fighting for them.”

Durham mother questions why the county won’t let her kids stay with family in Georgia

February 20, 2023 | Read More

“DSS manifests itself in an overwhelmingly racist manner toward Black families and Black children in Durham County,” Dawn Blagrove said. “DSS is emerging in a way that works with systemic and institutional racism to keep black families apart.”

Lawyers: separation of children through child welfare services ‘an ongoing form of torture that America does to Black families’

February 20, 2023 | Read More

“Durham has conducted an unfair and railroaded process in this case and has tried to break down the tides to accommodate a non-kin adoption, but there have always been kin ready, willing and able to take in Toia’s kids in Georgia,” Elizabeth Simpson said.

'Like they threw my whole family away': Durham mom questions why county won't let her kids stay with family in Georgia

February 20, 2023 | Read More

“DSS has done so many things that have caused so much harm and so much trauma and so much damage,” Toia Potts said.

This NC bill has the hallmarks of anti-protest bills sweeping the nation

February 19, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC’s Dawn Blagrove spoke loud and clear on Feb. 8 against North Carolina Republicans’ latest 'anti-rioting' bill. She told a legislative committee that the intent of House Bill 40 was to target 'Black, brown, and marginalized people' engaging in nonviolent protests."

'That's not humanity': Ben Crump calls for Raleigh officers to be charged in Darryl Williams' death

February 16, 2023 | Read More

Standing alongside Ben Crump, Kerwin Pittman and Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC spoke about injustices in the nature of Williams' death.

Civil rights attorney says man’s death in police custody compelled him to come to North Carolina

February 16, 2023 | Read More

“What we want to see is real accountability. Accountability that is acceptable to the people. Accountability that has real teeth and can bring real consequences,” Dawn Blagrove, the executive director of Emancipate NC, said.

North Carolina family seeks charges in police stun gun death

February 16, 2023 | Read More

"Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC, a criminal justice reform group, called for the officers to be fired and prosecuted. She also called for the department to end proactive policing and the use of Tasers."

Ben Crump calls for charges of manslaughter Darryl Williams' Raleigh police in-custody death

February 16, 2023 | Read More

"To the Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson, who is a Black woman and mother, we want her to give Ms. Williams the same justice she'd want for her Black child," said Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

Use of tasers by North Carolina officers in question for man who died in police custody

February 15, 2023 | Read More

“Police believe and they approach every situation with a hammer, with force, with violence. That is just not necessary. And that is especially true when it comes to interacting with Black, Brown and marginalized communities. ... Raleigh police department needs to be held accountable and had the city of Raleigh done what it should have done a long time ago, Darryl may still be alive,” said Dawn Blagrove.

Attorney says Black man tased by cops was ‘electrocuted’

February 14, 2023 | Read More

“The fact that they claim to have seen an open container and marijuana in the car sounds good and is a practice that we see repeatedly,” Dawn Blagrove said, CNN reported, adding that it’s a move not just from RPD “but from police departments across the country, where they retroactively create scenarios that protect them from the accountability and appearance of impropriety.”

6 North Carolina officers are on administrative leave after man dies in police custody

February 13, 2023 | Read More

“Now is the time for the city of Raleigh and all of America to reckon with the trauma and harm that policing causes to Black, Brown and marginalized communities,” Dawn Blagrove told CNN.

Attorney for family of man who died after being tased in police custody says he was ‘harassed’ and ‘electrocuted’

February 13, 2023 | Read More

“It’s heartbreaking to think about any person being electrocuted to death for nothing. In a parking lot, alone, begging, screaming and pleading for mercy that the Raleigh Police Department could not and would not offer him. They need to be held accountable for that,” Dawn Blagrove told CNN.

US police release video of Taser use on black man who later died

February 11, 2023 | Read More

“Emancipate NC stands behind the demands presented to Raleigh City Council and expect to see officers help accountable for Daryll Williams’ death,” said Dawn Blagrove.

Man dies after cops restrained him on the ground, ignored his warning of 'heart problems' and used stun gun on him, video shows

February 11, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC stands behind the demands presented to Raleigh City Council and expect to see officers held accountable for Darryl Williams' death," said Dawn Blagrove.

Raleigh police release video of stun gun use before man dies

February 11, 2023 | Read More

"Emancipate NC and other advocacy groups this week presented a list of demands to the Raleigh City Council. They include firing the officers involved in the arrest, retooling the city’s police advisory board and discontinuing for now the use of Tasers."

Raleigh police release body camera video in arrest of man who died after tasing

February 11, 2023 | Read More

“Darryl Williams should not be dead,” Kerwin Pittman said, noting the officers’ use of force “struck me as extremely excessive.”

Raleigh police release footage of Williams’ death in custody

February 11, 2023 | Read More

“How many times do we have to watch public executions before policing will be held accountable?” [said] Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

Raleigh Police release body cam video of night Darryl Williams died in custody

February 10, 2023 | Read More

"There needs to be accountability. These officers, there was no reason that Darryl should be dead right now. And we want to see the city of Raleigh finally take seriously the need to bring real accountability to the Raleigh Police Department," said Dawn Blagrove.

Raleigh police release body cam video of Darryl Williams’ death in custody

February 10, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate NC and Raleigh Demands Justice are calling for the creation of a new committee to look into police accountability. Click below to view the list of demands we delivered to Raleigh city council.

Bodycam footage shows repeated use of stun guns by Raleigh police before the death of Darryl Williams

February 10, 2023 | Read More

"Mr. Williams expressed he had heart conditions. They still chose to tase this man again. Why wasn't this taken into consideration?" said Kerwin Pittman, a social justice activist with Emancipate NC.

NC Supreme Court: Death row prisoner says Black jurors excluded from his murder trial

February 9, 2023 | Read More

"North Carolina courts are behind other neighboring states in terms of enforcing a 1996 U.S. Supreme Court decision that prevents prosecutors from excluding jurors on the basis of race, Ian Mance, an attorney for civil rights organization Emancipate NC, wrote."

Family of Darryl Williams gets first look at RPD bodycam video

February 9, 2023 | Read More

"What we know is that proactive policing, a.k.a. stop and frisk, is a very lazy way to do it, and it is proven to be ineffective and impacting the rate of crime," said Dawn Blagrove of Emancipate NC, denouncing RPD's tactics.

Activists, Raleigh Residents Demand Police Reform After Daryl Williams’ Death

February 8, 2023 | Read More

“Darryl Williams is dead because RPD failed to follow its own written policies for justification and use of non-deadly force,” Dawn Blagrove said, alleging at least 16 policies were violated by officers that night.

Raleigh council agrees to review demands following Darryl Williams’ death in custody

February 8, 2023 | Read More

Click to read the full list of demands Emancipate NC and Raleigh Demands Justice made to Raleigh City Council.

Raleigh City Council votes for review of police reform demands

February 8, 2023 | Read More

"Raleigh Demands Justice, which includes Emancipate NC, ... gave city leaders a packet of information that included eight demands ranging from firing the police officers involved in Williams’ death to dismantling and rebuilding the current police advisory board."

Judge grants release of RPD bodycam in Darryl Williams case

February 8, 2023 | Read More

"There is something fundamentally wrong when the outcome of a, not even a traffic stop, literally an unprovoked interaction with law enforcement results in death," said Dawn Blagrove. "What we want to see in the city of Raleigh is investment in alternatives to law enforcement, not enhancements to law enforcement, not changes to law enforcement,"

How to Take Action on Police Brutality and Anti-Black Racism

February 8, 2023 | Read More

The post highlights Team Emancipate's work, describing our dedication to "providing community education and mobilizing against racialized mass incarceration," and more.

NC House approves controversial anti-riot bill with enough votes to override a veto

February 8, 2023 | Read More

"We should not be harming or hurting, or passing any legislation, that further marginalizes already marginalized people,” said Dawn Blagrove.

'Anti-riot' bill would increase penalties

February 8, 2023 | Read More

“This bill will pretty much give law enforcement discretion to target those out there exercising their constitutional right in protest," Pittman said, “... and I believe they are trying to stop people from protesting with legislation put forth like this.”

Racist, or necessary to protect property? Anti-rioting bill passes NC House after heavy debate

February 8, 2023 | Read More

“This bill is racist,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of the group Emancipate NC. “This bill is designed to harm and limit the voices of Black, brown and marginalized people.”

Police release information on officers who tased Raleigh man who died in police custody

February 2, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove denounced Raleigh's "proactive patrols," saying, "It doesn’t matter what they found in his car. What matters is that on that night, he was bothering no one. He was minding his own business.”

Too few released from NC prisons decades after teen crime convictions, advocates say

February 1, 2023 | Read More

“The legacy of slavery and racial oppression in the state is very, very deep, and it doesn’t get undone without some long, hard work,” said Elizabeth Simpson.

RPD Faces Tough Questions After Deposition in “No-Knock” Lawsuit

February 1, 2023 | Read More

“Why are you not righting this wrong?” asked Kerwin Pittman, Emancipate NC’s Policy & Program director, during the press conference. “Why are you continuing to victimize this family that was already victimized the first time by Raleigh Police Department?”

Emancipate NC, family demand apology from police after wrong address warrant

January 31, 2023 | Read More

“[This] speaks to a larger issue, a systemic issue with the Raleigh Police Department and the culture of the city of Raleigh, it’s seeming that it’s to continue the brutalization of marginalized communities,” Kerwin Pittman said.

Raleigh police told to defuse situations before resorting to force. Is new policy enough?

January 30, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman criticized the new policy as falling short: "[W]e know that when things aren’t specific in policies, it leaves room for interpretation of the officers. A lot of the times, this is where mistakes come in and lives are lost.”

Mothers subject to wrongful Raleigh PD raid want apology, police reforms

January 30, 2023 | Read More

"We call on the people of Raleigh to demand that the folks that you have given your power to use it in a way that is fair and is equitable and is just," said Dawn Blagrove. "It's systemic racism that allows police all over the country and specifically here in Raleigh to create special units and give them so much leeway that they think and behave as they are above the law."

Emancipate NC holds discusses claims Raleigh police wrongfully raided homes of two families

January 30, 2023 | Read More

Watch video of leaders with Emancipate NC holding a briefing to discuss claims that Raleigh police wrongfully invaded the private duplex homes of Yolanda Irving, Kenya Walton, and their children in 2020.

'No Justice, No Peace': Raleigh protesters join calls for justice after Tyre Nichols' death

January 29, 2023 | Read More

"Those kinds of things happen because there is lawlessness in law enforcement," Dawn Blagrove said. "We demand accountability."

Protest against police brutality held in downtown Raleigh; activists calling for justice for Tyre Nichols, Darryl Williams

January 28, 2023 | Read More

Emancipate helped organize the protest and supported protestors calling for justice for Darryl Williams and Tyre Nichols.

Protesters march in Raleigh to protest police brutality

January 28, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman of Emancipate NC speaks to protesters gathered to march in downtown Raleigh, N.C. in the wake of the deaths of Daryl Williams in Raleigh and Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

Family, attorneys of man killed by Raleigh police give list of demands

January 28, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman drew a link between police violence in Memphis and Raleigh as symptoms of the same problem. “We also have to bring awareness to cases happening here in Raleigh ... It’s extremely important to highlight the injustices that are happening in your backyard.”

Edenton protest group spreads anti-monument message with billboard

January 26, 2023 | Read More

A group protesting Edenton’s Confederate monument and pushing for its removal from the town’s waterfront area is taking its case to new heights... Read the full article.

Protestors install anti-monument billboard

January 25, 2023 | Read More

“Our plan is that it stays up until the monument comes down,” local Move the Monument Coalition activist Rod Phillips said.

Family, attorneys of man killed by Raleigh police give list of demands

January 24, 2023 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove listed demands of Raleigh PD, including an end to "preventative policing," the immediate termination of the six officers involved in the murder, and removal of police Tasers until officers better understand their policies.

Family, activists demand accountability after death of Darryl Williams

January 24, 2023 | Read More

"We stand here before you with demands that are not utopian. They are real, they are tangible, and they can be achieved," said Dawn Blagrove. "Black folks in southeast Raleigh can be safe, and they deserve that."

Raleigh PD Release Report on the Death of Darryl Williams. Activists Call It ‘Propaganda.’

January 24, 2023 | Read More

“This report is designed to malign the victim, to malign the murder victim ... What matters is that on that night, he was bothering no one,” said Dawn Blagrove, denouncing RPD's "proactive policing" as nothing more than racial profiling.

Family of man who died in RPD custody wants immediate police reform

January 24, 2023 | Read More

Demanding transparency and accountability, Kerwin Pittman asked, "What side of the body did it make contact with and where on his side? Because these are important factors."

'Darryl Williams should not be dead': Family, activists voice pain from Raleigh man's fatal encounter with RPD

January 24, 2023 | Read More

"Darryl Williams should not be dead," Kerwin Pittman said. "Their initial encounter with Mr. Williams was unwarranted and unjustifiable."

Family of Darryl Williams addresses his death after Raleigh police say he was tased 3 times in their custody

January 24, 2023 | Read More

“Why, when Mr. Williams expressed he had heart conditions, why did they still choose to tase this man again?” asked Kerwin Pittman.

'I have heart problems.' Man was tased multiple times before death, RPD says he resisted arrest

January 23, 2023 | Read More

"Clearly no consideration was given to his health conditions when he expressed that he has a heart condition or heart problems ... [it] is extremely egregious for them not to take it into consideration," activist Kewin Pittman said.

Expert from George Floyd murder trial questions Raleigh police's use of taser before suspect's death

January 18, 2023 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman described how "proactive policing" leads to racial profiling: "Law enforcement wasn’t called to the scene. [Officers] just so happened to arrive on the scene, determined certain people were suspicious and wanted to pursue those people. That’s when things escalated."

Letter condemns city of Raleigh’s tactics in lawsuit after police raided wrong home

January 18, 2023 | Read More

“In defending this case, the City of Raleigh has elected to use taxpayer money to pay four private law firms, along with two City Attorneys, to employ a defense strategy that has included accusing these innocent mothers and children of criminal wrongdoing and subjected them to a battery of invasive and inappropriate questions,” Emancipate NC wrote.

Emancipate NC helps in civil rights lawsuit against city of Raleigh

January 18, 2023 | Read More

WRAL covers Emancipate's letter to the City of Raleigh regarding the questionable methods its attorneys are using to attack the character of the plaintiffs in our case against the Raleigh Police Department’s use of no-knock and quick-knock warrants.

Raleigh civil rights group calls out city over tactics in no-knock raid case

January 18, 2023 | Read More

"[The City of Raleigh] accused the mothers and their children of 'criminal wrongdoings' and asked them about gang activity," said Emancipate NC.

Activists Are Skeptical of Raleigh PD’s New De-Escalation Policy

January 4, 2023 | Read More

“When a policy lacks specifics about how you are supposed to operate, it leaves room for a lot of error. It leaves it up to the officers’ interpretation … and we know when they lean on their own interpretation, as we’ve seen in the past, they make mistakes,” Kerwin Pittman says.

Durham leaders, community members search for answers to gun violence

January 3, 2023 | Read More

"If I had positive mentorship in my life when I was a youth, I definitely wouldn't have went in the course and direction that I went in, but also (if I) just (had) economic infrastructure to make adequate living, wages for living, I definitely wouldn't have went in the route that I went in," Kerwin Pittman said.

October – December 2022

Wake County’s new sheriff has stepped in. What are his priorities?

December 14, 2022 | Read More

“Sheriff Rowe was incredibly transparent during his campaign,” said Dawn Blagrove. “He made clear that he intends to address overcrowding in the jail, repair distrust in the Black community, allow real community involvement in policies and issues the Sheriff’s Office has struggled with in the past, and be a partner in creating accountability.”

Trauma and Lawsuits: Questions Linger in the Wake of Raleigh Police's 'No-Knock' Warrant Debacle

December 14, 2022 | Read More

Elizabeth Simpson stated, “Police departments that operate under best practices prioritize the sanctity of human life over the small chance someone could destroy evidence during a brief pause to permit voluntary entry.”

Criminal-reform activists fear reversals as power shifts on state Supreme Court

December 8, 2022 | Read More

"I have concern, deep concern for the civil rights of North Carolinians," said Dawn Blagrove.

Raleigh Police Department rolls out first ever de-escalation policy

December 2, 2022 | Read More

"I know and understand that people's lives depend on this policy, and will individuals be held accountable for breaking these policies?" Kerwin Pittman asked.

Family angry, wanting answers, say their daughter was injured by school resource officer

December 2, 2022 | Read More

"She's traumatized, you're talking about my child, she does not want to go back to school," Jarrett Jenkins said. Emancipate's Dedan Waciuri assisted the Jenkins family to organize the press conference about a School Resource Officer assaulting a teen girl at school.

Raleigh police explain how officers will use de-escalation tactics

December 1, 2022 | Read More

Kerwin Pittman called for greater transparency, saying, “How do we know that the de-escalation policy is being followed? If we don’t have access to [the policy's tactics] and it’s not laid out in the general policy that’s accessible to the general public."

Pineville Police reforming several policies after woman jumps out of patrol car

November 29, 2022 | Read More

“It is imperative that the people demand very strong retribution, and reprimand for officers who have not taken the necessary steps to ensure that someone who is in their custody, in their care, is properly cared for,” Dawn Blagrove added.

“An endless cycle:” How pay-to-stay charges and fines harm those in the prison system

November 26, 2022 | Read More

“It’s a struggle to try to feed your loved one, to stay in contact with them," Cierra Cobb said.

Worries abound for criminal justice under a Republican state Supreme Court

November 17, 2022 | Read More

"I think that we are in store for some really tumultuous times,” said Dawn Blagrove.

In Durham, A Push for Social Services Reforms Away from Foster Care

November 15, 2022 | Read More

"There's a growing consensus nationwide that our child welfare system has focused too much on removing children from their homes," Elizabeth Simpson contended.

First Amendment lawsuit filed against Graham Police Chief and Alamance County Sheriff

November 7, 2022 | Read More

"Protesters are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorneys’ fees in the newest lawsuit. They are represented by ... Ian Mance of Emancipate N.C."

NC town that was a BLM protest hot spot faces a new First Amendment lawsuit

October 27, 2022 | Read More

Emancipate's Ian Mance is one attorney representing plaintiffs arguing Graham, NC, and its local law enforcement violated their constitutional rights.

Expanded voter eligibility now includes North Carolinians with prior felony convictions

October 16, 2022 | Read More

"What we are about to do is awaken a sleeping giant," Kerwin Pittman said.

Triangle sheriff's offices not considering change to traffic stop policies

October 11, 2022 | Read More

"They are terrorizing [B]lack and brown communities and allowing their officers to terrorize [B]lack and brown communities for things that do not impact safety," Dawn Blagrove said.

NC Governor looking into the legality of pardons for simple marijuana charges

October 7, 2022 | Read More

"We need to make sure that people are not being subjected to fees and fines that come with being on probation and having these [marijuana] convictions," Dawn Blagrove, Emancipate NC Executive Director said.

'State of Despair.' Inmate Suicides Reach Historic Highs in North Carolina Prisons

October 3, 2022 | Read More

"I’ve seen a lot of people lose sight of reality and go crazy back there," Kerwin Pittman said.

How to judge a judge: A guide for North Carolina voters

October 2, 2022 | Read More

“States judges are the last line of defense to protect civil rights and personal autonomy,” said Dawn Blagrove, an attorney and executive director of Emancipate NC.

July – September 2022

Raleigh organization launches podcast to raise awareness of justice system

September 24, 2022 | Read More

“[It is a way] to uplift and [expose] and to let people know what is really going on inside the system and to just keep people updated on all the things going on and how people are being treated,” Cierra Cobb said.

North Carolina's progress on criminal justice at stake in high court election

September 15, 2022 | Read More

Civil rights attorney Ian Mance of Emancipate NC noted in an interview that justices are now holding prosecutors to a higher standard.

Police complaint at Greenville City Council meeting

September 10, 2022 | Read More

“You have a cultural problem here with your police department ... we [will] shine a very bright light on the Jim Crow era of policing being condoned by this board,” said Dawn Blagrove.

After multiple requests and two ER visits, NC trans prisoner has reproductive surgery

September 9, 2022 | Read More

"Ashlee has needed this surgery for a very long time, and she has suffered without it. Unfortunately, North Carolina incarcerates far too many people in its state prisons and it has not provided adequate resources to take care of all their medical needs,” Elizabeth Simpson said

Activist group says grievance coming

September 8, 2022 | Read More

Dedan Waciuri said he plans to address the Greenville City Council about Danisha Rogers, who said she was assaulted by an officer, as well as heightened police presence in primarily black neighborhoods.

Darryl Howard Asks Durham City Council to Reconsider Paying Him $6 Million Awarded by Grand Jury

September 8, 2022 | Read More

Emancipate NC said the city council’s reason for not paying Howard is “based on spurious legal grounds,” and that the city’s elected leaders “must meet their responsibility for just compensation.”

‘I beg y’all to reconsider’: Darryl Howard still awaiting $6M for wrongful conviction

September 8, 2022 | Read More

“It is indisputable that our system is wrought with systemic and institutional racism,” Dawn Blagrove said. “I stand here today calling on the council to honor, acknowledge and pay for the harm that has been caused.”

Darryl Howard, still waiting for $6M for wrongful conviction, to address Durham council

September 6, 2022 | Read More

Ian Mance, Dawn Blagrove and Elizabeth Simpson sent a letter to the City Council on Monday saying they had watched the developments with “a growing sense of alarm."

Enfield mayor requests state of emergency citing threats over Confederate monument

September 6, 2022 | Read More

"This is an investigation to quell black liberation," Dawn Blagrove added.

Enfield mayor calls on Gov. Cooper to investigate messages of racism: 'We need our governor to lock arms with this community'

September 6, 2022 | Read More

“Gov. Cooper and Attorney General Stein are actively enabling white domestic terrorism by turning a blind eye to the threat against the life of a Black elected official,” Dawn Blagrove said.

RPD's new mental health crisis unit rarely responds to suicide or involuntary commitment calls

August 18, 2022 | Read More

"Much of these attempts are going to be Band-Aids until we truly commit to divesting our safety from law enforcement. At that point, we will really be able to think creatively and freely about ways to create real safe communities," said Dawn Blagrove from Emancipate NC.

Art show reflects humanity and uplifts incarcerated voices in the Triangle

August 5, 2022 | Read More

Also at the event, members of Emancipate NC, a nonprofit organization that focuses on mass incarceration issues, read poems written by men at OCC and other facilities in the state.

Protestors call for release

July 30, 2022 | Read More

“Who knows what could have been if James was on the outside still speaking positivity for a lot of the youth in Greenville, North Carolina that actually looked up to him as a mentor," said Dedan Waiciuri.

“It is meant to break your spirit”: Groups call for end to solitary confinement in NC prisons

July 1, 2022 | Read More

“Solitary confinement is not meant, by no means, to rehabilitate you. It is meant to break your spirit," said Kerwin Pittman.

April – June 2022

Raleigh woman named in long lost arrest warrant from 1955 Emmett Till lynching

June 30, 2022 | Read More

"Justice has been delayed for her too long and denied for this family far too long. It's now time for her to reap what she has sown," said Kerwin Pittman at Emancipate NC

Death Notice

June 28, 2022 | Read More

“That is their loved one. That is their mother, brother, sister, daughter, father. They should definitely know what happened," said Cierra Cobb with Emancipate NC.

Dozens to rally in Columbia against Confederate monument

June 16, 2022 | Read More

Concerned Citizens of Tyrrell and Emancipate NC have called the Confederate monument in Columbia a “symbol of white supremacy.”

Tyrrell County activists want Confederate monument moved

June 17, 2022 | Read More

"Tyrrell County's monument to 'faithful slaves' and slaveholders conveys a racially hostile message, and it has no place at a courthouse expected to administer equal justice under law," said Ian Mance, an attorney at Emancipate NC.

Raleigh Council Passes Police Budget. Activists and Officers Both Hate It

June 15, 2022 | Read More

"Master Officer P.W. Coates … lusted for any pretext to murder a mentally unstable man with suicidal ideations." said Dawn Blagrove, the Executive Director for Emancipate NC.

Activists want Raleigh police officer fired because of May 7 shooting that killed a man

June 10, 2022 | Read More

"Raleigh Police Department does not seek to preserve life. But more so has a lust for blood," said Kerwin Pittman, the director of policy for Emancipate NC

Family has demands for police after man is killed in Raleigh Molotov cocktail incident

June 10, 2022 | Read More

“My brother was not an animal," said Jasiel Nunez Rodriguez, represented by Emancipate NC.

Activists say man shot by Raleigh police was mentally ill, call for officer to be fired

June 10, 2022 | Read More

“Why in the world should Raleigh be paying for an officer who chose to abuse the trust that he was given, by killing a man who was in a mental health crisis?” said Dawn Blagrove.

Community activists hope to see real change in Raleigh Police Department de-escalation policy

June 8, 2022 | Read More

"We need to be able to have a working session not just a listening session," Kerwin Pittman said.

Less than 10 percent of NC police agencies reported use-of-force data to FBI this year

June 2, 2022 | Read More

"If nobody is being held to report to this database, then what good are they?" Kerwin Pittman said.

Body Camera Footage Released In Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez Shooting

June 2, 2022 | Read More

A judge ordered the footage released during a hearing last week in which both the family, represented by Emancipate NC, and the police petitioned for its publication.

Two Years After Protests, Activists See Little Progress on Raleigh Police Reform

June 1, 2022 | Read More

“And if it’s transparency, it has to be clear transparency when you’re right or when you’re wrong. It can’t be only when you feel like you’re right,” Kerwin Pittman said.

Saturday event to celebrate African Liberation Day

May 26, 2022 | Read More

“(It) will hopefully ignite, or reignite, the black radical tradition,” Dedan Waciuri said.

Raleigh reaches settlement with teen detained in 2020 George Floyd protests for arrest

May 18, 2022 | Read More

"No amount of money can change what I felt that day, no amount of money can bring back the people [who Raleigh police have fatally shot in recent years]," said Nyee'ya Williams, who was represented in settlement talks by Emancipate NC

Federal lawsuit demands Raleigh police change no-knock and quick-knock raid policies

May 6, 2022 | Read More

“This is not just about compensation. Our clients want to reduce the chance of this happening to someone else," said Ian Mance with Emancipate NC.

Civil rights, justice groups: Justice still sought for Brown

May 2, 2022 | Read More

"We all are organizers," Kerwin Pittman said. "Don't wait for somebody to make the change. You make the change."

Crowded Field Vie for Wake County Sheriff

April 20, 2022 | Read More

“We have a lot of pretend progressives, people who say the right thing, who show up during election time and promise things,” said Dawn Blagrove from Emancipate NC

Why Are Sheriff’s Deputies from Alamance County Patrolling Durham?

April 20, 2022 | Read More

A partnership with Alamance County is “extremely problematic given the history Terry Johnson has of pretty much blatant racism,” said Kerwin Pittman from Emancipate NC

6 changes Wake County officials hope will reduce bias and the number of people in jail

April 9, 2022 | Read More

“These changes are smoke and mirrors. We know they are changes without changes,” said Dawn Blagrove from Emancipate NC.

Jury can't decide, judge declares mistrial in Lake Gaston home invasion, robbery, murder case

April 7, 2022 | Read More

"We hope District Attorney Waters uses this rebuke of the case presented against Lester as a moment to reflect on his role and responsibility as a district attorney," said Cierra Cobb from Emancipate NC.

January – March 2022

NC Sheriff's Association submits policing recommendations that activist says fall short

March 17, 2022 | Read More

"I think they got it backward. They need to be showing officers how to respond to citizens." said Kerwin Pittman.

Decision Pending on Whether to Charge RPD Officers for Daniel Turcios Killing

March 16, 2022 | Read More

“Because of the outsized power that law enforcement has to create narratives that make them look least culpable at best, it is even more critical that we are as a community are very skeptical of initial reports from law enforcement,” says Dawn Blagrove of Emancipate NC.

Lawsuit filed against fired detective, city of Raleigh after police raid wrong apartment

February 22, 2022 | Read More

The plaintiffs are being represented by a mix of attorneys, including lawyers from Emancipate NC, a racial justice nonprofit.

Durham County approves $100,000 to buy sheriff’s office new Tasers

February 17, 2022 | Read More

“Instead of buying Tasers to escalate and incite violence on behalf of law enforcement — in situations where very often it’s not needed or warranted — this money could be invested in de-escalation trainings,” Dawn Blagrove said.

After fatal shooting with Raleigh officer, here’s city policy about Tasers, deadly force

February 16, 2022 | Read More

Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC, said the use of the taser “was completely unwarranted,” and “completely premature.”

A Month After Raleigh Police Shot and Killed Daniel Turcios, His Family is Still Waiting for Answers and Demanding Justice

February 16, 2022 | Read More

“Daniel Turcios’s life mattered and it is time we address the elephant in the room, which is, if Daniel Turcios was white, we wouldn’t be here today,” Kerwin Pittman said.

Jury selection begins in murder case

February 9, 2022 | Read More

Cierra Cobb, family advocate for Emancipate NC, said they weren’t asking for a pity party, but for a fair jury to look at the evidence and make a fair decision.

Family of NC man charged with capital murder speaks to his innocence

February 7, 2022 | Read More

"Lester being locked away has caused so much devastation. Lester is innocent ... and Lester is a kind person. He would never commit such a heinous crime." said Doris Lashey at the Emancipate NC press conference.

Raleigh police release body cam video in Daniel Turcios shooting. Here’s what it shows

February 5, 2022 | Read More

“We want a real investigation. We want this officer to be held to the same standard as anyone else who commits gun violence in our community, because that is what this was,” said Blagrove from Emancipate NC.

No-knock search terrified Raleigh mom and kids. And it was the wrong home.

February 3, 2022 | Read More

“What we saw today was the game being played by the rules law enforcement creates and not in the best interest of the public or transparency,” the statement from Emancipate NC said.

Transparency concerns after split decision on RPD bodycam video release

February 2, 2022 | Read More

I’m pretty sure if it was one of their kids, they would push the [body cam videos] to be released,” said Kenya Walton, Emancipate NC client.

‘We are destroyed’: Family, activists mourn Latino man fatally shot by Raleigh police

January 15, 2022 | Read More

“Daniel Turcios’ life mattered. Could this brutal murder not be avoided? Could things have been handled a different way?” said Kerwin Pittman from Emancipate NC.

Why Aren't Women Incarcerated at Raleigh's Minimum-Custody Prison Facility Receiving COVID-19 Booster Shots?

January 12, 2022 | Read More

“They are scared they are going to die from COVID, due to not being able to keep up with Centers for Disease Control guidelines,” Kerwin Pittman added.

October – December 2021

2 young people killed, 4 injured in Durham shooting on Eugene Street

December 14, 2021 | Read More

"The only way to break the chain [of teen violence], is to invest in communities and teens" said Kerwin Pittman

How NC sheriffs shaped new body-camera law that limits who can release footage

December 8, 2021 | Read More

“What happened behind the scenes is what almost always happens. The sheriffs’ association used its incredibly outsized power at the General Assembly and got that done,” said Dawn Blagrove

The Geriatric Ward: North Carolina’s Aging Death Row Population Faces Looming Health Care Crisis

November 20, 2021 | Read More

When the pandemic hit North Carolina’s prison system, chronic care needs went unmet and sick calls were often ignored by the already limited medical staff, said Elizabeth Simpson, associate director of Emancipate NC

NC Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Juvenile Life-without-Parole

November 12, 2021 | Read More

"There's no way to claim equity or fairness in a process when the results so disproportionately deny life and liberty to black children," Blagrove asserted.

'The trial invokes an emotion that's sickening': NC activists, attorneys react to Ahmaud Arbery case

November 5, 2021 | Read More

"This trial invokes an emotion that's sickening . . . [it's] white man's justice and black man's grief in the criminal justice system," said Kerwin Pittman.

Why Ashlee Inscoe, an incarcerated intersex, trans woman is fighting for her safety

October 27, 2021 | Read More

“A lot of people in prison administration, including medical professionals, have a political orientation that is hostile to trans people and does not respect their existence or the validity of their experiences,” said Elizabeth Simpson, associate director of Emancipate N.C

July – September 2021

‘She is not safe.’ Lawyer says NC transgender inmate who spoke out now faces retaliation

September 30, 2021 | Read More

“Your repeated conclusory statements will not be sufficient assurance that she is safe from harm and not subject to coercion and retaliation, while she continues to be a woman incarcerated in a men’s prison,” Simpson wrote.

Wake DA faces families, criticism of police investigations at criminal justice forum

September 24, 2021 | Read More

“There is a segment of our population who, number one, feels like they are silenced, and, number two, feels like their pain is not recognized,” Dawn Blagrove said.

North Carolina database seeks to hold law enforcement accountable

September 20, 2021 | Read More

"Normally, when you do a citizen's complaint, it goes nowhere. So we're that extra reinforcement for the citizens to advocate for them." said Cierra Cobb with Emancipate NC

Trans inmate says she doesn’t belong in an NC men’s prison: ‘They know I’m not a man’

September 14, 2021 | Read More

Elizabeth Simpson, an attorney with Emancipate NC, said she believes that prison deaths over the past year and a half increased not only due to the virus but due to lack of access to care for chronic conditions.

NC criminal justice group launches database to track reports of police misconduct

September 9, 2021 | Read More

“We want to normalize that any mistreatment by law enforcement, even mistreatment that does not result in physical harm, is still harmful,” she said. “It’s still worthy of being documented, and we want to hear your story.”

‘Anti-Black Lives Matter Bill’ ignores call for racial equity in criminal justice, critics say

August 20, 2021 | Read More

“And we call this bill particularly ‘The Anti-Black Lives Matter Bill,’” said Kerwin Pittman from Emancipate NC.

Activists say anti-riot bill is 'racist,' 'anti-BLM'

August 18, 2021 | Read More

“This bill HB805 is racist. It’s an anti-Black Lives Matter bill,” said attorney Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

We asked what questions you had for Raleigh’s new police chief. And then we asked them.

August 15, 2021 | Read More

Will you personally encourage citations over misdemeanor arrests, including for marijuana charges? asked Kerwin Pittman with Emancipate NC

The Pandemic Rush on Prison Weddings

July 21, 2021 | Read More

Cierra Cobb, an advocate for Emancipate NC, believes institutional racism is part of the problem. She had planned to wed her high school sweetheart, Jeffrey Cobb, 34, who is serving time for second-degree murder in Windsor, N.C., in March 2020. Lockdown derailed that. “It’s already degrading to have a wedding in prison,” she said. “Buying a dress and knowing you’re not going to use it — it’s a letdown.”

'It's always watching': Warren County town to use 24-hour cameras, controversial facial recognition

July 19, 2021 | Read More

"Facial recognition systems has shown disproportionate error rates in identifying Black and brown people, ultimately leading to wrongful arrests of black and brown people," Kerwin Pittman said.

April – June 2021

North Carolina bill aims to stop prosecuting 6-year-olds

June 29, 2021 | Read More

“What we are seeing is Republicans finding the easiest, the most innocuous, the least impactful ways to create change to a system that needs massive overhaul without actually disrupting the system,” Dawn Blagrove, Emancipate NC Executive Director said.

Study said Wake needs more public defenders, but proposed NC budget would take 2 away

June 24, 2021 | Read More

Public defenders’ offices are underfunded across the country, but in North Carolina it is “especially egregious,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of racial justice group Emancipate NC. “It is a travesty and it is a guarantee that folks’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel will be decimated,” Blagrove said

A White Woman Hit Protesters With Her Car in Elizabeth City. Now Police Are Considering Hate Crime Charges.

May 25, 2021 | Read More

"It is not surprising because these individuals with racial hatred in their hearts have pretty much referred to us as bowling pins and made posts on social media about how they can run over folks and get away with it," said Emancipate NC organizer Kerwin Pittman.

Black Woman, 68, Files Lawsuit Against Officers Who Snatched Her from SUV By Her Hair, Then Bragged About Grabbing a ‘Handful of Dreads

May 5, 2021 | Read More

If [the police department is] not going to hold these officers accountable in a situation like this, when will they hold officers accountable?” said Ian Mance, attorney with Emancipate NC.

January – March 2021

‘Make Your deeds match your words’ racial justice group tells NC Attorney General Stein

March 31, 2021 | Read More

Cierra Cobb, who works for Emancipate NC and is married to someone in state prison, said Stein’s silence on the state’s handling of COVID-19 in prisons has been disheartening.”

'I thought I was gonna die in prison’ How COVID is opening NC prison gates.

March 12, 2021 | Read More

“Advocacy works,” Elizabeth Simpson, an attorney for Emancipate NC, said. “It is my fervent wish that everyone in prison would have someone who cares about them and is working hard to get decision makers to see their humanity.”

Settlement secures release of 3,500 incarcerated people from state prisons

March 4, 2021 | Read More

“It will be a recognition that our state was over-punishing — over-incarcerating — its citizens, and that actually detracts opportunities for community and is not the best way of handling harm,” said Elizabeth Simpson, attorney and associate director of Emancipate NC.

Wake County Judge Approves Release of Body Camera Footage of Fuquay-Varina Teen's Detention

February 24, 2021 | Read More

“We believe that it is important for the people of Fuquay-Varina to see Malcolm’s face while he experiences the trauma of this interaction. Hear the humiliation and fear in his voice," said Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director of Emancipate NC. "This situation could have been handled with so much more care.”

NC prisons to expand quarantine program, despite concerns about conditions, legality.

January 22, 2021 | Read More

“And it’s hard to imagine what could be more coercive than telling someone that they’ll be sent back to prison if they don’t agree,” said Ian Mance, attorney with Emancipate NC.

Released Inmates at Durham's COVID Motel Say It's Just Another Prison

January 5, 2021 | Read More

“My experience of NCDPS, unfortunately, is that they have plans that sound passable and then their implementation is not passable at all.” says Elizabeth Simpson, associate director at Emancipate NC.

October – December 2020

Prison inmates entitled to federal stimulus checks but deadline looms. Here's how NC advocates are working to help

October 29, 2020 | Read More

"Within a week and one day, 350 people have called -- family members and people in prison," said Kerwin Pittman, about the flood of state prisoners calling the stimulus hotline set up by Emancipate NC.

July – September 2020

A Black Nationalist Upbringing Fueled A Criminal Justice Reformer: Meet Dawn Blagrove

September 28, 2020 | Read More

So if I whitewash the truth, if I water down the truth in a way that feels more palatable to the person who is oppressing me, then I am being complicit in my own oppression,” said Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director of Emancipate NC.

"I Sleep, Eat, Live, Breathe Activism": Kerwin Pittman Advocates For Prison Reform

September 10, 2020 | Read More

I was always taught silence means acceptance, right? So, if I don't speak up and speak out about what you're doing to me, that means I accept what you're doing to me, because I'm a basic human and you're a basic human and we have human rights,” said Emancipate NC Organizer Kerwin Pittman.

'Black Lives Matter' billboard put up next to Confederate flag on US 64 in Pittsboro

July 13, 2020 | Read More

The billboard was paid for by Emancipate NC, Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, and a community-led fundraiser.