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Drumwright condemns felony charges, calls it attempt to criminalize demonstrations


Dean-Paul Stephens   | Times-News

Rev. Gregory Drumwright on Thursday condemned the felony charges filed against him that day by the Alamance County Sheriff's Office. 

The charges include assault on a law enforcement officer and felony obstructing justice. This is in addition to his original charge of misdemeanor failure to disperse. 

In an official statement, Drumwright accused law enforcement of using the charges as a means to criminalize demonstrations. 

"Throughout this entire summer of fighting against white supremacy and racial injustices there in Graham, the law enforcement entities (Graham Police and the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office) in Alamance County have worked desperately to find ways to criminalize peaceful protesters and community organizers," Drumwright wrote in a press release. 

More: Drumwright now charged with felonies after march to the polls

Drumwright's comments come hours before he is scheduled to give statements at a community meeting in his hometown of Burlington. Although the meeting was intended to address arrests at a recent meeting of the Alamance County Commission, Drumwright is expected to give further comment on the additional charges. 

The original misdemeanor stemmed from an Oct. 31 march to the polls. Throughout the event, officers from Graham's Police Department and the Sheriff's Office pepper-sprayed participants. Around two dozen demonstrators were arrested or detained. 

In protest, Drumwright and other local organizers held an additional Election Day march, which led to no arrests.