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How seriously should law enforcement take comments overheard on an open mic before Dec. 2 press conference; sheriff’s office believes seriously

Alamance County sheriff’s office put out a statement Thursday afternoon expressing concerns about remarks caught on an open mic before a press conference held in front of the Judge J.B. Allen, Jr. Court House on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Several television stations recorded the comments as their cameras and microphones were set up prior to the start of the press conference, which was held before Rev. Gregory Drumwright’s appearance in district court to face the D.A.’s motion to increase the conditions of his bond.  [See separate story in this edition.]

One of Drumwright’s supporters, Regis Kishon “Shon” Green of Durham, can be heard talking about the desires of “young activists that want to do other things,” [seemingly referring to more serious actions]. He says officials need to leave Drumwright alone since he is a “peacemaker,” who is “subduing a lot of young activists that want to do other things.”

He refers to being “tired of marching at this point” and refers to coming “with some pieces” [apparently referring to guns].

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The sheriff’s office notes that Green has been arrested twice before: on October 31 for failure to disperse after the sheriff’s office used pepper spray to force demonstrators away from the courthouse when they discovered two gas cans and a gas-powered generator (in violation of the permit Drumwright had obtained);

Green during the Oct. 31 march in Graham. Green led many of the chants and songs for the demonstrators; he was later arrested when he and other protesters did not disperse when commanded to do so by sheriff’s deputies.

and on November 16 following a meeting of the Alamance County board of commissioners for resisting a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct in a public building, and disruption of an official meeting.

Clifton Carter urges Green to calm down and take his seat after the latter gained entry into a county commissioners’ meeting in Alamance County’s courthouse on Nov. 16. Green, who joined the meeting fresh from a racial justice rally outside the courthouse, was one of five demonstrators subsequently arrested after the commissioners abruptly recessed that evening’s proceedings.

Green has been visible at a number of marches and protests, often using a bullhorn to shout instructions or lead group chants.  Drumwright has heralded Green at several events in the past month or so, and during the October 31 march and rally, Green was close at hand near Drumwright during the march and on the platform at the courthouse.  During the march, Green led many of the chants and songs of the protesters.

Green on the night of Sept. 23 during the arrest of Kani Adon Bynum on West Elm Street in Graham. Green, originally used a bullhorn to berate police (replete with profanities) as they arrested and processed Bynum. Subsequently, Green admitted in one video post that part of demonstrators’ strategy is trying to bait opponents. “I’m here to provoke you,” Green says on the video, “and make you do something stupid so we can get some justice.”

The full transcript of Green’s comments, as provided by the sheriff’s office and confirmed by The Alamance News from listening to two separate news station’s tapes of the comments, is furnished below.  [Expletives in the original transcript have been edited out of the transcript by the newspaper.]

According to the statement from the department, the sheriff’s office “will continue to monitor and share any credible threats of violence from anyone with our community. While we continue to support peaceful demonstrators, we want to remind everyone that violence and destruction are not the answer.”

The sheriff’s office provided a link to WFMY News 2 (in Greensboro), which the newspaper has shortened to the following:  The comments begin at about 11:16 minutes into the full tape.

“If, if – they better understand before they try to ban him, is that Pastor Drumwright is the peacemaker. He’s – he’s holding back, not holding back, but he’s subduing a lot of young activists that want to do other things.

“So if you take him away you’re leaving room for some of us to come in and really shake some [expletive] up, alright, okay? Alright. Cause if we come shake some [expletive] up the way we want to, we coming with, with some pieces. Right. And we follow Drumwright’s lead, you may want to keep him here. It’ll help ya’ll. It will be in their best interest to keep him here so that other young activists will follow him…cause we’re tired of marching at this point… you know what I mean?”

Shortly after Green’s comments, another Drumwright associate comes over to where Green is standing and says, “Ladies and gentleman, I just want you to be aware that everything you’re saying is either being recorded or they can hear it, and we don’t want to misrepresent anything as not being peaceful, so we’re going to taper our comments. Love y’all.”

Shon Green (shown here with a beak-style mask) marched with another racial justice protester beside the Graham early voting site at the corner of West Elm and Maple streets on Oct. 23, saying they were “protecting” voters. Some voters, however, said they felt the demonstration was aimed at voter intimidation instead.

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