The lawsuit challenges the use of force and intimidation by the city of Graham and Alamance County, arguing that “Defendants prevented North Carolinians from peacefully protesting and casting their vote free from intimidation, threats, harassments, and coercion.”
CNN has reached out to the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and the Graham Police Department for comment.
According to the Graham Police Department, law enforcement pepper-sprayed the ground to disperse the crowd in at least two instances — first, after marchers did not move out of the road following a moment of silence, and again after an officer was “assaulted” and the event deemed “unsafe and unlawful.”
But the event’s organizers and other attendees have said they did nothing to warrant the response, and that they wanted to exercise their First Amendment rights and march to the polls.
“I and our organization, marchers, demonstrators and potential voters left here sunken, sad, traumatized, obstructed and distracted from our intention to lead people all the way to the polls,” Drumwright said in a news conference Sunday.
“Let me tell you something: We were beaten, but we will not be broken,” he added.
The “I Am Change” march was branded as a “march to the polls” in honor of Black people whose deaths have fueled protests over racial injustice, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Trayvon Martin, according to a flyer for the event.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.