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September 26, 2020

New charges sought for man who fired gun during protest

SALISBURY — A Kernersville man charged this weekend with firing a weapon into the air during a peaceful protest is now being sought for charges related to inciting a riot.

The Salisbury Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Jeffrey Alan Long, 49, on Wednesday, for felony inciting a riot, which came several hours after police issued a similar charge for a Salisbury man who is accused of throwing a rock through a window at the Salisbury Post. Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black pressured police in a meeting Wednesday to file the additional charges.

On Sunday, Long was spotted by police removing a handgun from his waistband and firing at least two shots into the air as peaceful protests took place at the intersection of West Innes and North Church streets, near the Confederate statute “Fame.” Long, who was standing with supporters of the monument, is a member of Confederate groups as well.

He was quickly apprehended by police and later the same day charged with two counts of misdemeanor carrying a concealed pistol/gun and discharging a firearm within city limits.

Josh Bergeron / Salisbury Post – Police officers take Jeffrey Alan Long, who witnesses said fired two to three shots in the air, into custody.

A news release said police located two firearms on Long — in his waistband and an ankle holster. He was later charged with misdemeanor possession of a weapon at a parade.

A second man was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after he hid a gun when police approached to take his statement regarding the incident.

Early Tuesday morning, someone threw a rock through a Salisbury Post window. On Wednesday, police identified Harvey McCorkle III, 30, of Salisbury as that man and filed charges against him for felony damage to property and felony inciting a riot. As of press time Wednesday, McCorkle had not been arrested.

In a statement sent to the Post, Black said he met with Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes and Major Shon Barnes about concerns he has listened to over the past few days. Black said he demanded the police bring additional charges against Long, and police followed through by issuing warrants for inciting a riot.

Salisbury City Communications Director Linda McElroy confirmed Black met with Chief Stokes and Maj. Barnes to ask for a review of the case and provide additional information regarding Long’s interactions with the protestors near the statute.

“I want to express my appreciation to Mr. Black for bringing this additional evidence to our attention,” said Chief Stokes. “The events of Sunday were still under investigation by our detectives as noted in our initial notice. It’s helpful when members of the public and community stakeholders are able to assist us with cases, particularly crimes that deal with threats to public safety.”

Editor’s note: The print version of this story ran in the lead position on page 1A Thursday, June 4, 2020, and did not include a mugshot of Long while a story about McCorkle’s arrest below the fold included a mugshot. The Salisbury Post should have included mugshots of both men on the front page or included no mugshots at all. We apologize for the disparity in treatment in the print edition and will work to do better.

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