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Outside agitators most likely to blame for violence during protests

CHARLOTTE — Many people believe outside agitators are to blame for the violence during the George Floyd protest Friday night in Charlotte.

“I had clicked on the Facebook event that I was interested in the march,” activist Bea Cote said.

She was gearing up to attend Friday night's protest on Beatties Ford Road when a friend in city government warned her that she might want to reconsider.

[George Floyd protests: Floyd died of ‘mechanical asphyxia,' according to independent autopsy]

“She cautioned me that this was not being put on by anybody locally, that she knew, and so then, I started reaching out to my friends who were activists and turns out nobody knew this organization,” Cote said.

Information circulated on social media that the protests were quietly being organized by white supremacist groups to widen the racial divide.

“I knew that it was not copasetic, and I chose not to go,” said Corine Mack, of NAACP Charlotte. “I reached out to some other organizers and told them that this was some kind of outside entity and to be careful.”

Mack, who has led Charlotte’s NAACP for years, and couldn’t say who the organizers were, but she knows they’re not from Charlotte.

Many arrested over the last three nights of protest were white and were from out of state.

The NAACP is planning a march for Tuesday afternoon, and Mack said their motives and message are sincere.

“We are hurting, she said. “We are deeply scarred. And in order to get past this, someone has to be truly honest and authentic and acknowledge the wrongs being done.”

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