July 13, 2020

Planned June 4 protest does not have support of Alexander NAACP or local political groups

By MICAH HENRY

(Updated June 3, 9:15 p.m.)

A protest that is being promoted in Taylorsville this week does not have the backing of local civil rights or political groups.

According to posts on Facebook, local resident Jessica Sumpter announced a protest in Taylorsville on Thursday, June 4, at 7:00 p.m. to speak out against the Minneapolis, Minnesota police killing of George Floyd and similar acts against people of color.

Police Chief Douglas Bowman told the Taylorsville Town Council on Tuesday, June 2, that Sumpter is seeking to have a peaceful protest but noted that she did not allow for the 14-day notice on planning the event to obtain a proper permit for street closure. Taylorsville Police and several assisting agencies will cordon off the three streets surrounding the eastern, southern, and western sides of Alexander County Courthouse and protesters can gather in those streets so that Main Avenue (NC 90) will remain open to traffic. Protesters will not be allowed to gather on County property, because the event was announced before any County permit could be obtained as well. Officers will be stationed in various downtown locations to ensure a peaceful event.

Alexander County NAACP officer Helen Chestnut told The Times June 3 that local NAACP President Rev. Sterling Howard indicated the NAACP is not authorizing or supporting the protest. In fact, the NC State NAACP Conference President in a prayer Monday, June 1, advised members statewide to stay home and be safe.

Chestnut, who is also an officer in the Alexander County Democratic Party, stated that the local party Chairman, Larry Price, said the local Democratic Party is not co-sponsoring this event.

She indicated that local leaders are concerned that although Sumpter intends the protest to be peaceful, that out-of-town groups may come as well, with ill intentions.

“We all agree there are issues to address, but we need to sit down and work out our problems,” Mrs. Chestnut said. “We want peace in our negotiations.”

Jack Simms, Chairman of the Alexander County Republican Party, stated, “The Alexander County Republican Party recognizes all citizens’ rights to free speech; however, it does not condone or encourage the violence and destruction of the recent protests. The GOP supports law enforcement, fire, and rescue groups.”

Update: Walmart leaders are reviewing the situation as it develops to determine if closing the store is necessary.

Update 2: 

Town of Taylorsville placed under a preemptive State of Emergency beginning Thursday, June 4, at 6:00 p.m.; Curfew to begin at 10:00 p.m., residents urged to stay in their homes and businesses 

Taylorsville Mayor George Holleman issued a State of Emergency on June 4, 2020. The text of the State of Emergency Proclamation is as follows:
 
Whereas, a Preemptive State of Emergency is declared for the Town of Taylorsville as a contingent and preemptive measure to encourage peaceful assembly and freedom of speech while protecting Town citizens and property from possible threats beginning [Thursday] June 4, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. and shall be in effect until deemed unnecessary and a Town curfew of 10:00 p.m. on the night of June 4, 2020, is hereby in effect.
 
Whereas, in the event that a proposed peaceful public assembly transforms to create serious threats to public safety and property within the Town of Taylorsville; and
 
Whereas, the citizens, property owners, and visitors in the Town of Taylorsville are urged to remain in their homes, and make ready for disruptions of normal activities.
 
Be it therefore proclaimed, that the State of Emergency associated with the possibility of injury to Town Citizens and Property based on recent national events, a State of Emergency is hereby declared and in force in the Town of Taylorsville beginning at 6:00 p.m.
 
This Proclamation is issued this the 4th of June, 2020, in the Town of Taylorsville, North Carolina 28681.
 
(Signed) George Holleman, Mayor
Attest:David Odom, Town Manager

6 Comments

  1. Patricia Buechner on June 4, 2020 at 8:20 am

    The sin of silence when one should protest makes cowards of us all

    • Bessie Mayes on June 6, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Umm.. have you missed TV lately? Taylorsville is the town I deairly love. Their decision is the correct one. By the way, when the NAACP disavows it? Perhaps that may help with you “sin” comment?

  2. Mary Penley on June 4, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Is the pandemic over? Why would you approve a gathering like this during a pandemic? This county has done so well in keeping our Corona virus numbers low. Now our efforts will be to no avail! Doesn’t your job as a city or county official involve protecting Alexander County and it’s people?

  3. Logan on June 5, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Taylorsville not Surprise no Compassion for other. Very dark place

  4. Laney on June 5, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Hey everyone. Let’s go on the street corner and scream at empty stores that closed due to the ignorance going on that wasn’t permitted by the county. Insane. Great point y’all are making. Find something better to do in your free time than wreck a small town.

  5. Bessie Mayes on June 6, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    All I know is that when my brother Pee Wee’s funeral procession went thru the streets of Taylorsville, they blocked the side streets so Pee Wee received the honor that the POLICE OF TAYLORSVILLE wanted to show him. Not a car was allowed on the main streets as the funeral drove thru. Never ever seen that done before. And unless a Senator or Governor comes down that way, I will doubt if it will be done again. That mattered to us as a family. That MATTERED to us as my little brother Jr. has a son who is a policeman. That MATTERED also to me in that the police have been absolutely wonderful to our family all or our lives growing up there. And I would have to say to most in Taylorsville without regard to facial identity. I’ll NEVER forget what the police, sheriff, and highway state patrol did that day to honor Pee as THEIR FRIEND ALSO; who stood outside their police cars with their arms in repose at EVERY intersection along the way. And even as they escorted Pee’s funeral drive to his grave in the front AND the back of it. You guys better appreciate these police men and women in Taylorsville who come to your homes when you are helpless without concern for the danger or color!

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