7 men defied stay-at-home order outside NC women’s clinic, police say

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Seven people have been charged with violating stay-at-home orders while protesting Monday outside an abortion clinic in Greensboro, authorities said.

Greensboro police said the seven demonstrators gathered outside A Woman’s Clinic of Greensboro were asked to leave because they were violating stay-at-home orders prompted by the new coronavirus. Police said the protesters refused.

Jason Oesterreich, Justin Reeder, Isaiah Burner, Andre Gonzalez, Richard Whittier, Leroy Stokes Jr., and John Mcatee were charged with violating Guilford County's stay-at-home order and resisting a public officer.

It wasn't the first time police had broken up a protest outside the clinic during the restrictions. Oesterreich, Reeder, Burner, and Carl Ubinas were charged with similar offenses after a protesting outside the clinic on Saturday, authorities said.

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Police said the men were part of a group that contacted police before gathering outside the clinic on Saturday. Police told the leader of the group that their gathering would be considered nonessential and protesters would be given a citation or be arrested.

Authorities have said the order was imposed to stop the spread of the global pandemic.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper set new restrictions on business operations and prohibitions of gatherings of more than 10 people on Friday. Police said they will try to get violators to voluntarily comply with disperse requests but violators could ultimately be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.

It’s unclear if any of the men charged have attorneys.

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