Last month, while pushing a racist and undemocratic “anti-rioting” bill that would require mandatory jail time for anyone arrested during a protest, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore flat-out lied when he said that people died in Raleigh’s anti-police brutality protests in 2020, according to PolitiFact NC and WRAL.
House Bill 40, known as the “Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder” bill, is the NCGOP’s second attempt at a bill meant to deter peaceful protests in the state. A similar bill that passed the legislature in the previous session was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
While appearing on the “Tying it together with Tim Boyum” podcast, which was recorded at the legislature on Feb. 7, Moore claimed he supports people’s right to protest and said, “What we do have to rein in, though, is when it becomes violent, and when it becomes destructive. We saw the riots that happened just blocks from this building a few years ago.”
Instead of sticking to the facts, Moore continued, saying that “people were injured” at the protests and “I think someone was actually shot and killed, where there was significant property damage.”
According to WRAL, Moore made similar comments in legislative meetings the next day, on Feb. 8. He told the House Rules Committee that the 2020 protests in downtown Raleigh included “those who want to engage in violence, engage in destruction of property, and turn it into that. People — one man — was actually killed. You had folks who were severely injured. I saw some of this myself.”
In a legislative Judiciary Committee meeting, Moore claimed to have seen the supposed violence “up close and personal,” adding that “We saw people die. We saw folks get seriously injured.”
A Raleigh Police Department report on the protests from May 30, 2020, to June 7, 2020, mentioned property damage, several acts of looting or burglary and injuries to officers, but nothing about any deaths, WRAL reported. Raleigh police Lt. Jason Borneo confirmed to WRAL that no one died.
PolitiFact NC reached out to Moore’s office about his repeated lie. Moore’s communications director Demi Dowdy said that Moore wasn’t referring to the Raleigh protests when he talked about someone getting shot and killed, but instead about the 2020 protests in general.
“During his remarks, the Speaker was both recounting the events in Raleigh during 2020 protests and also referring to George Floyd protests nationwide,” Dowdy said, in part.
PolitiFact rated Moore’s comments as “False.”