Second update: State Capitol Police report the following people were charged with second-degree trespassing after refusing to leave the Capitol building for nearly two hours after it closed Wednesday:
Robert Thompson Stephens, 26, of Chapel Hill; Joshua Rahim Vincent, 23, of Raleigh; and Hudson Laney Vaughan, 27, of Carrboro. Each was issued summons to appear in court and released on their own recognizance.
The three were cited during a protest at the State Capitol on Wednesday evening. They include NAACP state field secretary Stephens. The trio made it clear they expected to be taken into custody, locking arms, singing spirituals and refusing to leave the building after it closed.
It was the culmination of an hour-long event organized by the NAACP in which about 30 young people went to the Capitol to present the governor with a list of pledges they want him to sign. The issues were the same that have drawn weeks of mass protests at the nearby Legislative Building – including jobs, health care, education and voting rights.
Last Wednesday an NAACP-sponsored group also left a list of pledges for the governor to sign.
This week’s group of people, mostly in their teens and 20s, accompanied by NAACP state President Rev. William Barber, were allowed inside the building, where they were told Gov. Pat McCrory was busy signing bills.
An officer told them someone would be out to speak with them, but 10 minutes later announced that it was 5 p.m. and the building would close. The trio of protesters refused to budge, and about 20 minutes later officers told the news media and others who were filming the event to leave.