Alamance battleground: Sheriff adds felony charges to (peaceful) protest leader

And could land Greg Drumwright in jail for 3-4 years:

Twenty-three people were arrested, including the main march organizers. All of these people initially were charged with misdemeanors.

Now, Drumwright is being charged with felony assault with physical injury on a law enforcement officer and felony obstructing justice in addition to his previous charge of misdemeanor failure to disperse on command.

Here are a couple of truth-bombs: If you aren't allowed to connect your public address sound system to electric outlets at the venue (Courthouse), you will need a stand-alone generator. And that generator will need gasoline to function. It's as simple as that. But law enforcement saw an opportunity to escalate the situation by viewing the gas can as an incendiary device; fuel for a fire that was never going to happen. And in the process, they perfectly symbolized the core issue driving the Black Lives Matter movement itself: Police operating from a "worst case scenario" mindset when dealing with black citizens. An assumption of guilt that must be (somehow) proven wrong by the suspect, often in a matter of seconds before lethal force comes into play. I'll let Reverend Drumwright speak his mind, since Terry Johnson won't allow it in his fiefdom:



Dear Beloved Community, Grace and peace! Throughout this entire summer of fighting against white supremacy and racial injustices there in Graham, the law enforcement entities (Graham PD/Alamance County Sheriff’s Department) in Alamance County have worked desperately to find ways to criminalize peaceful protesters and community organizers. Our efforts at the October 31st “I Am Change March” to lead people to the polls were brutally upended by police who released pepper spray and utilized excessive force against our peaceful marchers, which resulted in disruption of our peaceful demonstration, people being obstructed from registering to vote and voting, as well as several members of our organization being arrested and falsely charged, myself included. From that time until now, neither Graham PD or ACSO has taken any responsibility for their merciless actions which resulted in a 82 year old lady who was being pepper-sprayed needing medical treatment, another disabled member of our community having a seizure as a result of being sprayed, and children as young as 5 being traumatized by the excessive force and chemical munitions used by Graham police and County Sheriff personnel.

Twenty days after the incident, and 14 days after Justice for the Next Generation and myself as a named plaintiff filed federal voting rights and other civil rights claims against him, Sheriff Terry Johnson doubled down on his retaliatory tactics to my organizing efforts by charging me with 2 felony charges and 2 additional misdemeanors.

Today I am pleased and humbled to hear from organizational leaders and countless people from the community that have been fighting the good fight, who are condemning these charges and pledging their unwavering support. Thousands of people were watching the events unfold that day in Graham and millions have since tuned in. I continue to hear from people all over the world who viewed the footage and found the actions of law enforcement that day to be criminal acts at their hands, not ours or my own.

As we press into tonight’s 6:30pm community meeting in Burlington at Morgantown Baptist Church, I would have the beloved community to know that I will fight back against these charges, of which I am innocent of as well as the old guard of white supremacy at the helm of law enforcement in Alamance County. Further, the justice community of organizers have pledged their unwavering support. Tonight, I am prepared to announce the “Ready 4 Change Peaceful Protest for Criminal Justice Reform” in Graham, NC with forthcoming details.

Truly, there are countless victims of the racialized criminal justice system in Alamance that have braved this systemic practice and lost their battles. African American and Hispanic residents have been targeted, torn down, and convicted of trumped up charges and petty crimes that never merited the criminal record they now have. As I face these charges rooted in retaliation for none other than my activism and demand police reform, I am unafraid and will remain relentless in my pursuit of Justice 4 the Next Generation.

In the absence of hope for change, what do we have? And therefore, embedded in my heart are the words of the founder of my home church reformation that has become a worldwide mantra, “Because God is the greatest power, I am not defeated” and the sentiments of Psalm 37: 1-2, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."

In the Name of Justice,

Rev. Gregory B. Drumwright,
Justice 4 the Next Generation Coalition, organizer & activist

Rev. Drumwright's Citadel of Praise has a gofundme site if you'd like to contribute.