CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Sixty-two people have been arrested so far in connection to the protests and riots this weekend in downtown Charleston, according to Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds.
According to the Charleston County jail website, they face charges such as violating curfew, congregating and failing to disperse in an emergency, and disobeying a lawful order.
We asked Reynolds about Sunday’s arrests, even in crowds that appeared to be peaceful.
He said they asked crowds to disperse, especially since they were violating the governor’s order against large gathering during the pandemic, but that many refused.
“Social distancing, the governor’s order, the state of emergency, his orders of not having 3 or more people gathered. That all factored into our decision making process,” Reynolds said. “Someone doing yoga in park and social distancing and how that is affected versus a riot in our city where we had a lot of damage, we had people injured, and we had people trying to burn the city down.”
Several people arrested from what appeared to be related to the riot also had additional charges from drug possession to assault and battery.
We're still waiting on police to confirm the names.
The chief has repeatedly said many of the protesters aren’t from here.
It's rhetoric we've heard in cities across the country.
“This is just a generalization because we’re learning more as we speak,” Reynolds said."But generally what I’ll say is most are from the Tri-county area and not from the city of Charleston. Some from out of town, New York and other areas. The majority are from this region but not the city."
The chief also said some protesters consider it almost a badge of honor to be arrested, something he said they will continue to accommodate if they ignore serious police orders.