Graham protest organizer, joined by noted attorney Ben Crump, looks for meeting with governor

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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Graham march activists seek meeting with governor
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The Rev. Greg Drumwright joined by attorney Ben Crump were in Raleigh seeking a meeting with state leaders.

GRAHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Well-known attorney Ben Crump marched with his client the Rev. Greg Drumwright and others in Raleigh on Thursday seeking resolution for what they're calling the "Graham 12" case.

Drumwright and 11 other people were charged with felonies during a march to the polls event on October 31 in Graham that ended with police using pepper spray to break up a crowd.

"We're here today because this is what voter suppression in 2020 looks like," Drumwright said.

Drumwright and his attorney scheduled several meetings with lawmakers Thursday, but they hoped to meet with Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein. Drumwright said they haven't gotten a response from Cooper's office and Stein has agreed on a phone call scheduled for Friday.

"Our concern is Mr. Crump is here today. And we're in Raleigh today," Drumwright said Thursday.

A small victory for Drumwright and his attorney: On Wednesday, a judge dismissed a motion to ban the reverend from Alamance County property. But Drumwright said they won't be satisfied until the charges are dropped and there is change.

The Alamance County Sheriff's Office said Drumwright violated the law when a gas can and generator were discovered on courthouse property -- calling it a fire hazard. Drumwright's group had been told by law officers before the march that gas-powered generators would not be allowed at the demonstration.

In late November, the sheriff's office announced additional charges against Drumwright and two others involved in the October 31 march that resulted in the arrest of 23 people.

"If you're able to suppress just one little marginalized person of color in Alamance County, then that sets a precedence," Crump said.

ABC11 reached out to the governor's office for a response. A spokesperson for Gov. Roy Cooper said "the events surrounding the march to the polls in Alamance County last month were unacceptable and should not have happened. Our office continues to monitor developments in the legal process but has not participated in a meeting at this time."