• Kurt Ward

Trial for Leader of October Graham Protest Got Underway Wednesday

Opening arguments and witness testimony got underway yesterday in the trial of Gregory Drumwright, a Greensboro pastor who organized a march in Graham on October 31. Drumwright, who is originally from Burlington, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of failure to disperse on command, resisting a public officer and public disturbance. Drumwright initially faced a felony charge of assault on a law enforcement officer, but that charge has since been dismissed. The October 31 march to the polls became confrontational when Alamance Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to seize a gas-powered generator being used to operate sound equipment for the protestors. Sheriff deputies testified that the generator, along with its gas can, posed a danger and was not allowed based on the assembly permit that Drumwright agreed to. The march ended with Graham Police officers and Sheriff’s deputies using pepper spray and arresting several marchers. According to testimony yesterday, the crowd was ordered to disperse and given a warning that arrests were forthcoming if they did not comply. Those orders came at 1:05 p.m. and 1:10 p.m. and the first arrests were made at 1:11 p.m. on October 31. Drumwright’s trial will not resume until September 8. At that time, the prosecution will call its remaining witnesses and the defense will have a chance to present its case.

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