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March To The Polls In Graham Interrupted By Police Using Pepper Spray

A group of people kneeling in front of a building with columns
Rusty Jacobs/WUNC
Demonstrators in downtown Graham Saturday kneeling in honor of George Floyd, before law enforcement officers deployed pepper spray to disperse the peaceful crowd.

Law enforcement officers pepper sprayed peaceful protesters in Alamance County this weekend on the last day of early voting. The group of about 150 people were participating in a “Legacy March to the Polls” in downtown Graham that included a stop at the controversial Confederate monument there and a plan to march two blocks to an early voting site. 

But officers from the Graham Police Department and the Alamance County Sheriff’s Department deemed the demonstration an “unlawful assembly” and deployed pepper spray in an area that included children. WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs was in Graham on Saturday, and he joins host Frank Stasio to share what happened on the ground.

CORRECTION: Jacobs incorrectly reported which law enforcement officials deployed pepper spray near the courthouse in Graham on Saturday. Both Alamance County Sheriff's deputies and Graham police officers sprayed to clear protesters from the street.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Rusty Jacobs is WUNC's Voting and Election Integrity Reporter.
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