Disturbing videos emerged online Saturday showing members of law enforcement in North Carolina dousing voters marching with their children to the polls with pepper-spray.
“Alamance County sheriff’s deputies and Graham police pepper-sprayed people — including a 5-year-old girl and other children — who were participating in the “I Am Change” march to the polls on Saturday afternoon,” The News & Observer reported.
“A racially diverse group of about 200 people walked with a police escort from Wayman’s Chapel AME Church to Court Square, where they held a rally encouraging people to vote. The event was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, a Burlington native who leads the the Citadel Church in Greensboro, according to his website,” the newspaper explained. “At least three politicians participated in some parts of the event: the current mayor of Burlington, Ian Baltutis; Democratic candidate for county commissioner Dreama Caldwell; and Democratic school board candidate Seneca Rodgers.”
“At one point, the marchers held a moment of silence in the street in honor of George Floyd, the Black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis earlier this summer. After the moment of silence concluded, law enforcement told people to clear the road,” the newspaper reported.
“Then, deputies and police officers used pepper spray on the crowd and began arresting people. Several children in the crowd were affected by the pepper spray,” they added.
Floyd’s niece was scheduled to speak at the event, but was unable to after the mayhem.
The newspaper interviewed Melanie Mitchell, who told them her 5-year-old and 11-year-old daughters were among those pepper-sprayed by deputies.
“My 11-year-old was terrified,” Mitchell said. “She doesn’t want to come down to Graham anymore.”
“They didn’t warn us or anything,” said Veronica Holman, who told the newspaper her 3-year-old great-nephew threw up after being pepper-sprayed by the deputies.
— erica_4_empowerment (@erica4advocacy) October 31, 2020