'We're coming in peace': Rev. Drumwright protests in Alamance County nearly one month after pepper spray incident with Graham police

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Monday, November 30, 2020
Rev. protests in Alamance County nearly one month after pepper spray incident
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Rev. Gregory Drumwright is returning to Graham to march nearly one month after police deployed pepper spray at a march to the polls event.

GRAHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than a hundred people joined alongside Reverend Gregory Drumwright for the "Ready for Change" march, which happened nearly a month after a pepper spray incident with police during a march to the polls event.

The group, organized by the Alamance Alliance for Justice and Justice 4 the Next Generation, made several stops through downtown Graham including the Alamance County Courthouse with a heavy police presence watching the peaceful group closely.

"Folks have been processed through the courthouse, which is supposed to be a hall of justice but in many cases, in a disproportionate number of cases to Black and Brown people, it is a hall of injustice. That is why we are stopping by here right now," Drumwright said. "We come together to gain justice for the next generation, we don't fight for ourselves we fight for our children and our grandchildren."

On Oct. 31, Graham police deployed pepper spray during a march to the polls organized by Drumwright.

The Alamance County Sheriff's Office said Drumwright violated the law when a gas can and generator were discovered on historic courthouse property -- calling it a fire hazard.

Police, march organizers differ on what happened in Graham

In late November, the sheriff's office announced additional charges against Drumwright and two others involved in the Oct. 31 march that resulted in the arrest of 23 people. The sheriff's office said when it investigated the incident, an officer was assaulted by Drumwright. The reverend claims that the latest charges against him are a form of retaliation.

RELATED: Rev. Drumwright disputes felony charges against him, calls for charges against Alamance sheriff, Graham police chief

Drumwright told supporters that it's Sheriff Terry Johnson who should face felony charges for the pepper spray incident. He's also calling for Mary Kristy Cole, the police chief in Graham to step down. He is also suing Johnson and Cole for law enforcement's actions last month.

Reverend leads second march to the polls days after Graham law enforcement used pepper spray to end first one

The sheriff's office released a statement about the planned protest saying, "While the Sheriff's Office supports and respects an individual's constitutional right to free speech, we continue to ask everyone to exercise those rights in a peaceful and respectful manner."

The office warned that if anyone were to block streets, trespass, or harm any people or property they will be arrested.

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