A fire has started outside the Market House in downtown Fayetteville as a large crowd continues to be in the area.
9:06 p.m .: Large police presence lined the streets near Market House wearing body armor. The crowd yells at the officers. The police give people five minutes to leave the center.
09.00: The fire near the stairs to the Market House has died down. Large crowds still around the area. Blue lights from law enforcement vehicles can be seen a few blocks away.
8:52 p.m .: People taking wooden pallets to light a fire outside the Market House in downtown Fayetteville. The police have closed the center area for traffic.
8:50 p.m .: A fire has started outside the Market House in downtown Fayetteville when part of the crowd screams.
8:44 p.m .: Someone has entered the market house and is throwing objects out of a broken window. A brick was just thrown out. There is a report on firearms. The police are in place.
8:39 p.m .: Fayetteville police announced that the center has been closed to all traffic and people should avoid the area.
8:08 p.m .: Fayetteville Police Department posted on Facebook that it is monitoring the situation at the center. They advise people to avoid the area
07:50 p.m .: A man who appeared to be on fire ran out of the market house. The police are now in place, and the crowd has grown larger.
7:45 p.m .: Video from Fayetteville Market House shows smoke, and it seems the sprinkler system has activated.
5:20 pm: Fayetteville native J. Cole and Dennis Smith Jr. are in Fayetteville for a George Floyd protest at Market Center downtown
4:50 pm: Another protest will begin at 5pm today at the Market House downtown.
4:20 p.m .: Protestants now stage a sit-in on Skibo Road.
3:42: Protesters sing George Floyd̵
3:40 pm: Organizer Rakeem Jones introduces Mayor Mitch Colvin in the Cross Creek Mall parking lot.
“If we really want to be heard, it doesn’t burn down Cross Creek Mall. If we really want to be heard, it’s about our financial and voting power,” Colvin said.
3:22 p.m. Protesters are now marching along Skibo Road, shouting “no justice, no peace.”
3:10 p.m .: Protestants scream “Nothing but peace” as cars drive past and howl in solidarity.
2:55 p.m .: Despite the rain, a crowd is gathering at Walmart on Skibo to protest George Floyd’s death.
2:33 p.m .: Fayetteville City Councilman Chris Davis participates in the protest on Skibo Road. “I just felt it was important to be out here, because we want to make sure, # 1, that their voices are heard, that people can express themselves … but we want to make sure we do it in a way that is constructive and being a leader in the city of Fayetteville, I was unwilling to stay home and not be a part of this time in history. “
Davis says he will listen to protesters today to see if the city’s policies need to change.
2:20 pm: Mayor Mitch Colvin says he understands the frustrations, but it’s important to keep the protest peaceful. Colvin encouraged everyone who comes to the protest today to observe social distancing and wear masks.
2:10 pm: Mayor Colvin says he plans to join in March today on Skibo Road.
1:55 pm Mayor Mitch Colvin will address the local reaction to George Floyd’s death today at 2 p.m. in front of the city hall.
1:50 p.m. Cross Creek Mall and Walmart, both on Skibo Road, have closed for the day pending the protest on Skibo Road.
A Fayetteville man said he is planning a rally today to protest the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Rakeem Jones said the protest is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Skibo Road between Walmart and Cross Creek Mall.
“My plan is to go there and be heard,” Jones said Saturday. “I can only speak for myself personally. We will not go there for rebellion or anything, just to be heard.”
A Minneapolis police officer has been charged with murder and homicide during the death of Floyd, whose death was captured on video Monday. The video showed a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck. The event has sparked protests across the country.
Jones said the Floyd killing was the “catalyst” for the collection. “He was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Jones said.
Another demonstration to protest George Floyd’s killing is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 pm. near Walmart on Skibo Road. Floyd was born in Fayetteville, according to multiple media reports.
According to a Facebook post, people are planning to start gathering at 5pm. Monday for a “Sound the Alarm Unity March.”
Rakeem Jones garnered national attention in 2016 when he was punched while protesting at a Trump rally in the Crown Coliseum.
The man who met Jones cited no contest of wrongdoing with allegations of abuse and battery and disorder. In court, Jones forgave his assailant.
Staff writer Rodger Mullen can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3561.