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NAACP Leader Scolds Alamance Commissioners For Backing Sheriff's 'Rape' Comment, ICE Plan

Rev. Curtis Gatewood
Rev. Curtis Gatewood spoke at the Alamance County Board of Commissioners meeting this week.

The leader of the Alamance NAACP chastised the county board of commissioners this week for supporting Sheriff Terry Johnson's immigration detention plan.Last month, commissioners approved a $2.8 million dollar investment for upgrades so the jail could be used to detain federal immigration inmates. In that meeting, Sheriff Johnson said undocumented immigrants are "raping our citizens in many ways."

At this week's commissioner's meeting, the Rev. Curtis Gatewood said there was no data that immigrants were driving up rape or other crimes in the county.

"We do not need generalizations to conveniently play into existing prejudices or a dangerous history of xenophbia, domestic terrorism, and racial hatred," Gatewood said. "There is never an acceptable time for government-sponsored hatred, fabrications or lies which create fake crisis, fake solutions which call for $2.8 million."

Commissioners responded that Johnson probably used the word "rape" as a metaphor and said they did not agree that the decision amounted to "government-sponsored hatred."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the Rev. Curtis Gatewood's last name.

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