Violent Clash Erupts: Eight African Eritrean Migrants Arrested In North Carolina Cultural Festival Riot

By Alan Hume | Monday, 19 February 2024 09:20 PM
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Eight Eritrean migrants were apprehended by North Carolina authorities on Saturday, following a riot and assault incident at a cultural festival in Charlotte.

The clash, which was reportedly between rival Eritrean gangs, resulted in a standoff that lasted over 10 hours. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) responded to the scene after rioters allegedly attacked police officers with sticks, rocks, and other projectiles. A tractor was also set ablaze during the riot.

One female was among those arrested, facing charges of inciting a riot, failure to disperse, injury to personal property, and assault on a government official. According to the police, she had assaulted an officer and was found in possession of a firearm during the riot. The weapon was subsequently seized by the police. The remaining seven individuals were charged with impeding traffic and failure to disperse.

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The incident took place around 11:30 am in the parking lot of a business on Monroe Road, which was hosting the Eritrean cultural celebration. The CMPD responded to reports of an "unlawful protest." Upon arrival, officers issued a dispersal order, which the group refused to comply with. The group was reportedly spilling out onto the public road, according to the police.

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At approximately 3:00 pm, bike officers attempted to move the group out of the street but were assaulted, which hindered the officers' ability to effectively disperse the rioters. The department stated, "Several protesters threw objects and pushed back against the officers. Officers then deployed pepper spray. Multiple protesters and officers were treated on scene for injuries related to the pepper spray."

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By 6:00 pm, officers issued another order to disperse. The group had been blocking the entrance to the private business hosting the celebration and had set fire to a nearby tractor trailer. "The officers were met with violence and hostility, with protesters throwing objects," the department reported in a press release, as reported by Fox News. "Over the course of several hours, the CEU gave multiple dispersal orders in English and Spanish and were again met with violence from protesters wielding sticks, rocks and other items." The Charlotte Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire and contained the scene.

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The police added, "Shortly before 9 p.m., officers assisted with allowing the cultural event attendees to leave the scene. Protesters remained on scene initially but dispersed a short time later."

In a similar incident on the same day, a riot broke out at The Hague in the Netherlands, where Eritrean migrants reportedly broke into the opera house, attacked police officers, and set police vehicles on fire.

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