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Arrests mount as NC legislative session nears

Published On: Jul 08 2013 07:40:15 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 04:20:06 PM CDT
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Nearly 700 people have been arrested protesting at the General Assembly over the past 10 weeks, nearly all charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and violating building rules.

But what behavior constitutes a violation under those statutes is largely at the discretion of the legislature's police force.

Observers say some protesters behaved no differently than those from past years who weren't arrested, raising questions about whether Republican leaders are directing more aggressive enforcement against those who disagree with their conservative agenda.

House Democratic Leader Larry Hall says many were arrested on petty citations.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver says he's offended by suggestions his officers are influenced by partisanship.

The NACCP and other groups are calling for thousands of protesters at the legislature Monday. More arrests are expected.