Photo was taken by Associate Director Elizabeth Simpson while legal observing in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 30, 2020.

It has been more than a year since the summer of BLM protests that rocked North Carolina, demanding righteous and transformative change to the institutions of policing and prosecution. 

Emancipate NC’s Protest Defense Network helped coordinate pro bono defense by over 40 skilled and aligned attorneys on behalf of over 100 individuals in Wake, Durham, New Hanover, Mecklenburg, Alamance, and Person Counties. We posted bail for dozens of individuals as well. 

Last week, Attorney Dawn Blagrove represented Kathy Greggs in connection with a 2021 arrest at the General Assembly, securing a dismissal in exchange for 20 hours of community service. This was the case that also led to a change in the Magistrate policy regarding right to counsel (link).

Meanwhile, the majority of the 2020 Wake protest cases have also been disposed of in this same way. 

The charges that remain in Wake County fall roughly into two categories. First, are those that allegedly involve an “assault on a government official.” Second are those where the defendant has prior protest arrests or other convictions on their record.

This second category means that individuals who have already gotten their deferral may want to apply for expungement. Expungement can affect a future plea offer if they are ever arrested in the future. Unless a person qualifies for indigent status, expungement filing fees are $175. Please contact Emancipate NC if you would like to be referred to an attorney for assistance with this process. 

Emancipate NC sends a huge thank you to all of the attorneys who have shared their talents and time on behalf of this movement.