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Charlotte Police Arrest Young Black Politician For Distributing Voting Rights Leaflets



By Staff

Think Progress is reporting that LGBT activist and former Senate Candidate Ty Turner was handcuffed and detained by Charlotte police for placing leaflets on cars regarding voter rights in North Carolina. He was arrested at the Labor Day Moral Monday event that was focused on voter suppression in the state. The arrest was video taped by an onlooker. (See Below)

ty turner - clip by casey throneburg

ty turner – clip by casey throneburg

As reported by Think Progress:

“They said they would charge me for distributing literature,” Turner told ThinkProgress when 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!”

There is a local ordinance prohibiting leafleting on cars. But according to local activist Casey Throneburg, who filmed the video, it is almost never enforced, and “certainly not with handcuffs.”

Rather than taking him to county lock-up, Turner told TP that the police drove him around to several different parking lots in some apparent confusion about the situation.

Instead of transporting Turner directly to the Mecklenburg County jail, which sits just a few blocks from Marshall Park, 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 went on to report:

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.”
Other rally participants said they were reminded of more recent dark times, including the killing of Jonathan Ferrell by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police last year. Ferrell, a 24 year old former college football player, was unarmed when police shot him 10 times.

As the crowd waited for Turner’s release Monday night, local Reverend Kojo Nantambu put in a phone call to the President of the National NAACP, who in turn called the police department demanding Turner’s release. Shortly after, the police told the crowd they would be releasing Turner without a citation, and he would not be processed at the jail. A squad car then pulled up outside the jail, and Turner emerged, limping slightly and sweating profusely. The crowd cheered when they saw him and ran to comfort him.

You can read the full article HERE.

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