NC Senate Bill 168 causes controversy, protesters ask Gov. Cooper to veto

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — Demonstrators gathered outside the North Carolina Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh overnight to protest recent legislation they feel could hide critical information from the public.

Dozens of protesters assembled peacefully on the sidewalk overnight. They told ABC11 crews the focal point of the protest was Senate Bill 168, which mostly covers access to healthcare and mental health resources but a section related to death investigation records is buried in the middle.

Section 2.5 of the bill, labeled “Establishment of confidentiality for certain death investigation information” would possibly seal medical records and autopsy results.

Activists feel the bill hurts the Black Lives Matter movement and reduces police transparency. Protesters are asking Gov. Roy Cooper to veto the bill, which was passed by the Senate last week.

“That means that anything can happen to you while you’re in police custody and the public will have no way to understand exactly what the medical records are,” said Taari Coleman, who added the bill had “sinister implications.” “That means Kyron Hinton’s autopsy would not be available to the public. That means anything that has to do with Keith Collins’ murder, because it’s an investigation involving the Raleigh Police department, would no longer be available to the public. That means that Gloria Mayo doesn’t have access to the records of her son’s last moments of life or the officer that impacted him or anything like that.”

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