North Carolina Police Arrest Black Politician For Distributing Voting Rights Leaflets
On Labor Day at Charlotte’s Marshall Park, speakers at the Moral Mondays protest condemned the state’s record on voter suppression and racial profiling, then urged the community to organize and turn out at the polls this November.
Think Progress reports, “Just a few hundred feet away, police cuffed and arrested local LGBT activist and former State Senate candidate Ty Turner as he was putting voting rights information on parked cars.”
[su_center_ad]“They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress after he was released a few hours later. “I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!”
Although there is a local ordinance prohibiting leafleting on cars, local activist Casey Throneburg, who also filmed the arrest, said it is almost never enforced, and “certainly not with handcuffs.”
Police did not bring Turner directly to the nearby Mecklenburg County jail, but instead, he said they took him first to an empty parking lot behind the highway. “They took me to three different spots other than the jail,” he said. “They knew they were in the wrong.”
Think Progress reports:
…Reverend Dr. William Barber—the founder of Moral Mondays and President of the North Carolina NAACP—said the incident illustrated the urgent need to get out the vote in the African American community.
“Police are hired by police chiefs, who are hired by people that are elected,” he said. He then turned to Turner’s friends, who were crying. “I want you to be angry. Rosa Parks got angry and she changed the world. Take this incident and turn it into power. Anyone who says they’re upset about this profiling of black men, ask them if they’re registered to vote. That’s how we change this system.”
Dr. Barber added that Turner’s arrest reminded him of earlier, darker times in the American South. “The arrogance to come into our rally and think they can snatch up one of our boys and we’re going to be quiet about it! That day is so old we can’t even remember it.”
Use your anger at the ballot box.
H/T: LL’s own @TiredOfTea with thanks.[su_sky_ad]