Plaintiffs represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), co-counsel Covington & Burling, LLP and veteran civil rights lawyer, Geraldine Sumter of Ferguson Chambers & Sumter, P.A. have reached a settlement in Allen v. Graham. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of marchers and prospective voters who were pepper sprayed by law enforcement in their October 31, 2020 march to the polls and racial justice protest in Graham, North Carolina – a part of Alamance County – on the last day of early voting and voter registration in the state. The lawsuit brought claims under the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, the U.S. Constitution, and other laws.
“Last October, protestors in Graham, North Carolina, mobilized and marched to the polls on behalf of social justice and political participation. In turn, they were met with police violence that interfered with their constitutional rights to vote and assemble,” said LDF Assistant Counsel Anuja Thatte. “We are pleased that we were able to settle this case on behalf of our clients. It sends a powerful message that voter intimidation and violence against peaceful protestors has no place in Alamance County or anywhere in our democracy.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.