• Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:17 am

Get-out-vote rally participants in North Carolina say police pepper-sprayed them

  • Published at 08:58 am November 1st, 2020
Graham Police
A man is detained by Graham Police officers after a moment of silence during a Get Out The Vote march in Graham, North Carolina, US on October31, 2020 Reuters

North Carolina is a crucial battleground state in the November 3 contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden

Peaceful participants at a rally in a small North Carolina city to turn out the vote ahead of Tuesday’s US presidential election were pepper-sprayed by law enforcement officials on Saturday, according to videos broadcast online and witnesses.

Videos showed officers firing pepper spray into the crowd in Graham, a city of about 15,000 located about 40 miles from Raleigh-Durham. North Carolina is a crucial battleground state in the November 3 contest between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The Graham Police Department said officers took action after participants at the rally failed to obey warnings to disperse.

The state’s Democratic governor described the incident as “unacceptable.”

Shon Green, a 28-year-old activist who helped organize the protest, along with the Reverend Greg Drumwright, a Black social justice organizer, said police abruptly ordered an end to a peaceful rally, which had been due to end at a polling station.

“There was no explanation or anything,” Green said in a telephone interview. “They started pulling out their guns and grabbing their weapons. Then they started spraying people.”

Green said he was sprayed in the face and later slammed to the ground before being briefly taken into custody.

The Graham Police Department, in a press release, said officers directed pepper spray into the ground after rally participants failed to follow a command to stop blocking a road.

“As a result of actions that occurred within the rally, on courthouse grounds, the assembly reached a level of conduct that led to the rally being deemed unsafe and unlawful by unified command,” the police statement said. Following warnings that force would be used if people did not disperse after 5 minutes; the department said officers used the pepper spray after several people still remained.

The Burlington Times-News newspaper said one of its reporters was among those pepper-sprayed and said they did not hear any warning before the police action.

Protester Amy Cooper, 31, said that youngsters and the elderly were among those attacked.


Also Read- The US presidential race, from A To Z


“I saw it hit a child,” she said of the pepper spray. “She got it straight in the mouth and she vomited everywhere.”

Dreama Caldwell, who is a candidate for Alamance County commissioner, told Reuters that officers were to blame.

“The only violence that happened today was from the police,” she said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Governor Roy Cooper said that peaceful demonstrators “should be able to have their voices heard and voter intimidation in any form cannot be tolerated.”

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail