More than 80 arrested at General Assembly in Round 6

Jun. 10, 2013 @ 10:21 PM

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republicans are pushing back harder against weekly protests as another group of demonstrators aligned with the state NAACP face police charges.

Many in the group of more than 80 arrested Monday at the Republican-controlled General Assembly were clergy.

The arrests bring the total over six rounds of near-weekly demonstrations to nearly 400. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a growing number of left-leaning groups are lashing out at a host of GOP policies ranging from education to voting rights.

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the party's newly elected chairman have labeled the group outside agitators who don't speak for a majority of North Carolinians. Republicans built on their 2010 legislative takeover with veto-proof majorities and a win in the governor's race.

A Charlotte Observer reporter was arrested while covering the protest.

The newspaper confirmed veteran religion reporter Tim Funk was detained Monday evening while covering the event. Observer Managing Editor Cheryl Carpenter said in an email that Funk was wearing media identification and was there "solely to do his job as a news reporter." She said it's difficult to understand why he would have been detained.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver said Funk faces charges of trespassing, failure to disperse and breaking building rules. Weaver said the reporter didn't respond to a final warning to disperse before police began making arrests.

There have been nearly 400 arrests since the NAACP began near-weekly protests of the Republican-controlled General Assembly's policies.