RALEIGH, N.C. MARCH 31, 2021 – Paynter Law represents a diverse coalition of residents and citizens in Alamance County, joined by the NC NAACP, in a lawsuit filed against the Alamance County Commission seeking removal of a discriminatory Confederate monument that stands outside the county courthouse in Graham, NC.
Plaintiffs and their counsel allege that the monument, which towers over a widely-used public space, valorizes slavery, secession, and white supremacy in violation of the North Carolina Constitution. The monument, which depicts an armed Confederate soldier, also serves as a painful reminder of past and current injustices to Black residents in the community.
The statue also threatens public safety. In 2020, the Alamance County Sherriff’s office reported that nearly $750,000 in taxpayer money was spent managing “gatherings and protests” and in the same year, Alamance County Manager Bryan Hagood stated that he believed someone would likely be “hurt or killed” if the monument was not moved away from its current location.
Although jurisdictions across the country are voluntarily removing confederate statues, including many in North Carolina, Alamance County’s unwillingness to remove racist symbols has provided plaintiffs with no other recourse than to seek the assistance of the court.
Plaintiffs include the Alamance County Branch of the NAACP, community advocacy group Down Home NC, Engage NC, and a group of Alamance County businessowners. Individual plaintiffs also include Dreama Caldwell, Tamara Kersey, Rev. Dr. Daniel Kuhn, Rev. Randy Orwig, and Maryanne Shanahan.
Plaintiff’s legal team consists of Paynter Law Firm’s Gagan Gupta and Stuart Paynter, alongside former North Carolina Deputy Attorney General Hampton Dellinger. Local attorneys involved in the case also include Cheyenne Chambers and Abraham Rubert-Schewel, who just last year brought a similar suit to remove the Confederate monument in Gaston County. The legal team is rounded out by former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Ron Machen and UNC Chapel Hill alum Karin Dryhurst along with their colleagues at the national law firm of WilmerHale.
About Paynter Law:
With offices in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina, Paynter Law is devoted to protecting the rights of individuals, with a focus on high-stakes personal injury litigation, civil rights litigation, complex commercial cases, intellectual property disputes, and antitrust litigation. More information available at www.paynterlaw.com