• 75°

Police: Case of mistaken identity caused downtown protest to take unexpected turn

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — Downtown protests took an unexpected turn Monday night when some protestors believed they saw a man who was arrested Sunday for firing into the air during a previous protest.

A group of between 200 and 250 people gathered downtown, some near the Confederate statute “Fame” and others at nearby St. John’s Lutheran Church, at the corner of North Church and West Innes streets. A Civil Emergency Unit, made up of Salisbury Police, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, Mooresville Police and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, wore tactical gear and lined the streets, some of which were barricaded.

An N.C. State Highway Patrol helicopter hovered overhead as the people continued to gather for hours. The crowds didn’t disperse until after midnight.

Salisbury police spokesman Lt. Lee Walker said someone told police they believed they spotted Jeffrey Alan Long, the Kernersville man who was charged this weekend with firing shots into the air during the second day of protests. People began to chase the man from where he was standing, on the steps of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and another person who was with him until police were able to stop them and positively identify the man being chased.

Walker said the man was not Long.

The man was chased from the intersection of West Innes and North Church Street toward Council Street where other members of the Civil Emergency Unit were positioned.

Some members of the Civil Emergency Unit were pelted with rocks by bystanders. Walker said some officers received minor injuries that did not require emergency care. At least one person, a woman, was seen by emergency responders after law enforcement deployed tear gas.

Walker said the decision to use tear gas was one made after bystanders began throwing rocks in an effort to move the crowd back toward the center of protests in front of the “Fame” statute.

Long has been charged with two counts of carrying a concealed pistol/gun, carrying weapons at a parade and one count of discharging a firearm in the city limits, with some of those charges added after his initial arrest. He has since been released from the Rowan County Detention Center.

According to Salisbury Police, some protestors met at the Big Lots parking lot and walked downtown. Shortly after midnight as law enforcement began dispersing the crowd, someone threw a rock through a front window of the Salisbury Post.

One Post employee who was inside the building reported hearing a thud at about 12:15 a.m. No arrest has been made and the incident has been turned over to the police department’s detective unit.



Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations


Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop


Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute


Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?


Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline


Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget


Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle


CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science


Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies


With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions


Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration


Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline


Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance


Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list


Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May


Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards


Cheerleading team competes at Disney


Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team


Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest


‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer


Public Records: March Deeds


Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31