Elizabeth City police declare unlawful assembly after protesters block roadway Wednesday; 2 reporters arrested

Andrew Brown Jr.

ELIZABETH CITY, Va. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City police declared an unlawful assembly and gave multiple warnings Wednesday night as protesters blocked area streets.

The police department issued four warnings for unlawful assembly by 8:50 p.m. Wednesday. Protesters blocked the streets in the area of Elizabeth Street, between the intersections of Martin Street and Water Street at that time.

Facebook Live videos from multiple platform users showed several people in the roadway and more on the nearby sidewalks around 8:45 p.m.

There were numerous police cruisers with their lights on blocking the roadway.

Just before 9 p.m., some protesters began to move to another part of town. That’s when two newspaper reporters from Virginia, Ayano Nagaishi and Alison Cutler, were arrested, per the Staunton News Leader. They were wearing media vests and repeatedly identified as media as they were being cuffed.

An officer told them they were arrested “for standing in the street in a roadway,” the paper reported.

Police tweeted that the roadways in the city had reopened to traffic as of 11:30 p.m.

The protests come one day after the Pasquotank County District Attorney R. Andrew Womble said he would not bring charges against the Pasquotank deputies who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. as they executed a search warrant April 21.

However, those deputies will be retrained and disciplined, the sheriff said Tuesday.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.

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