‘Hostile crowd’ surrounds police, blocks cruisers during a drug raid in North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina – This is what police are up against in 2020.

Officers from the High Point Police Department were said to have responded to an address among the 1100 black of Campbell Street to conduct a search, which resulted in a “hostile crowd of 50 people” surrounding the residence and officers on July 9th.

Police were attempting to conduct a drug bust when the crowd formed outside of the home they were searching.

While police were said to have made some successful arrests related to the drug bust, officers were having difficulty leaving the residence due to the crowd that had formed at the scene.

According to police, members of the angry mob were said to have begun blocking police cruisers from being able to exit the area. After said demonstrations against officers, police eventually deployed pepper spray which caused the crowd to disperse.

'Hostile crowd' surrounds police, blocks cruisers during a drug raid in North Carolina
Joshua Lee Spears – High Point Police

During the search of the residence, police recovered 85.5 grams of heroin and 15.2 grams of marijuana. Those arrested during the search were identified as 26-year-old Joshua Lee Spears and 31-year-old Terria Nicole Barnes, both of which were charged with felony trafficking of heroin and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

'Hostile crowd' surrounds police, blocks cruisers during a drug raid in North Carolina
Terria Nicole Barnes – High Point Police

Bail was set for the defendants, with Spears’ being $200,000 and Barnes’ being $150,000.

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This isn’t the first time that Law Enforcement Today has reported on police getting surrounded and trapped in. Days prior to this incident, police found themselves trapped inside their own precinct by an unruly mob in Aurora, Colorado. 

While many across the country enjoyed a safe Fourth of July weekend, some cities were rife with variations of civil unrest, protests, and the criminal activities that often accompany the aforementioned.

On the evening of July 3rd in Aurora, a group of miscreants were said to have forcibly trapped police officers inside of a police station by using chains to lock the doors from the outside.

While many protests around the country have focused on the death of George Floyd, Floyd’s death has also injected vigor into protests related to nearly all suspects who have died in relation to some sort of police interaction.

The protest that took place on July 3rd outside of the District 1 police station near Montview and Wheeling was said to have been pertaining to the death of Elijah McClain back in August of 2019.

Like the numerous other protests about suspect-involved deaths, this was a case where investigators saw no culpability with officers who detained McClain last year when medical examiners determined McClain passed away from cardiac arrest after a paramedic administered ketamine as a sedative.

On the eve of the Fourth of July, police officers were said to have been trapped for about seven hours after protesters decided to imprison police inside of their own precinct.

Aurora Police Department spokesperson Matthew Longshore spoke about the riotous acts:

“The unfortunate part is they trapped our officers inside, not just them being around the building, but physically wrapping ropes and other items around the doors of the district one station, around the entry exit gates our patrol cars come out of…that was probably the most dangerous part.”

Department officials wouldn’t confirm the exact number of officers that were held captive within District 1. However, sources say that officers were able to be freed from the police station at around 3:30 a.m. on July 4th after the multi-hour detainment.

According to Longshore, there wasn’t any urgency to free the officers from the station, citing that they wanted to allow protesters to voice their opinions:

“There wasn’t a rush to come in move people out. The officers were safe inside. We wanted to give the people the ability to express their First Amendment right, to protest, peacefully assemble and make their voices heard, so we didn’t have an immediate rush to go in and clear people out. Waiting a little bit longer, the crowd size became smaller, so we had an advantage.”

While officers were said to have been relatively safe while confined inside of the station, criminal activity was said to be rife within the demonstration outside of the station. Longshore noted the weapons and materials used within the area while officers worked to clear out the demonstrators:

“We found gas cans, full of gasoline that were staged in that immediate area.”

The presence of gas was particularly concerning since there were fireworks being directed at officers outside the precinct during the evening. Longshore delved into further detail about the aggressive tactics and stances presented by the rioters:

“Not only that, someone had a fire extinguisher, they were spraying our officers with a fire extinguisher. We didn’t use any force until they started doing it to us, that’s when we used 40 millimeter foam rounds, no pepper spray or tear gas or smoke.”

Reportedly, two people were arrested for actions attributed to the criminal activity that took place during the evening of July 3rd, but there were no serious injuries reported. While Longshore respects the right to protest, he noted that the violence will not be tolerated:

“Come get your message across. That’s great, but to put officers’ lives at risk or the community’s lives at risk because we can’t respond because we are trapped inside of a building, that’s not right.”

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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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