In Robeson County, NC, Policing Reveals Yet Another Disaster

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This report comes from anarchists doing post Hurricane Florence disaster relief alongside badass local peeps in Robeson County, NC, and details how the unfolding disaster highlights the everyday horrors of racialized capitalist society.

As communities in Lumberton, NC and surrounding towns in Robeson County continue the work of rebuilding their homes and neighborhoods, local police and government officials continue their work of upholding state violence and political corruption. A local group who is bottom lining much of the grassroots disaster relief efforts in Robeson County is also (and has been more many years) pushing to fight against abuses by authorities against their communities.

In solidarity with our new comrades in Robeson County we’re calling for some FTP support from the circle A team as local folks here fight against Chief of Police Welton Patterson (aka Ronnie Patterson) and Town Manager David Ashburn of Red Springs, NC (about 20 miles from Lumberton, NC) who have been recently charged with removal of public records, conspiracy to remove public records, and unlawful disposal of public records.

Red Springs Police Chief Welton Patterson on the left and town manager David Ashburn on right.

The records that were hidden in a safe in a storage unit detailed numerous instances of Patterson’s abuses and corrupt dealings, one of which was a civil case that was terminated where Patterson was sued for having beaten a man to unconsciousness (while he was also asphyxiating to death) with a flashlight by striking him 25+ times over the head and leaving him to die on the scene.

Folks in the community also assert he later went on to beat another man into a stroke (and we believe the hell outta them about that too). Some of the other files that surfaced in the safe included documentation of sexual harassment claims against Patterson by a former Red Springs Town employee, documentation of deception during an investigation and a polygraph test related to the sexual harassment claim, and documentation of Patterson’s involvement, and subsequent failing of a polygraph test, in colluding with and protecting local high level abusive narcotics dealers, (we’re in solidarity with folks dealing to survive but these were the elite, rich fucks of the dealing world who were, according to folks in the community, perpetuating massive and highly disturbing abuses against women in their communities).

Along with the files was also narcotics, crime scene photos, fingerprint files, firearms, photos of nude afab people, ammunition, and handcuffs were found in the storage units. Patterson and Ashburn hid these files during Patterson’s campaign for Sheriff of Robeson County. On Tuesday, October 2nd 2018, the Red Springs town council decided to give chief of police Patterson a paid 18-month vacation while the case is being resolved.

Of course, all police should be abolished and are inherently oppressive. We’re not interested in a future of nicer cops and less political corruption. We’re trying to build a world where cops, prisons and States in their authoritarian, oppressive totality are but a distant memory. And while we fight to co-create that world we work to be in solidarity with folks doing what they can to protect their communities against state violence, and with that sentiment, we’re passing along our Robeson County comrades’ request for folks to contact the North Carolina DOJ Criminal Justice Standards Division at (919) 661-5980 (Stevens Combs is the director) and push for Welton Patterson to have his pay revoked during his 18 month suspension and bar him from being able to continue as chief of police or be hired at any other department.

“In one of the most cash-poor counties in North Carolina, while folks are struggling to pick up the pieces after a second devastating flood hit their region in two years, these oppressive fucks are getting paid vacation.”

In one of the most cash-poor counties in North Carolina, while folks are struggling to pick up the pieces after a second devastating flood hit their region in two years, these oppressive fucks are getting paid vacation. In Bladenboro, NC a woman was arrested for providing refuge and care to dogs and cats who were stranded during the deadly flooding (the charges have since been dropped). In Wilmington, NC police spent their time flying helicopters over hurricane-affected Black neighborhoods, spotlighting streets all night long and arresting people for existing outside past curfew. In Horry County, South Carolina two deputies drove Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green in a police van into flooded waters and left them to drown while they saved their own pathetic, murderous lives.

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We see in this work the intersecting hell that is the disaster of capitalist fueled climate change and the inherent disaster of the state, of authoritarianism. And in the aftermath of yet another hurricane, in the midst of state oppression, we reaffirm again that only we got each others’ backs. The neighbors sharing infant formula, the community group bucking up against local authorities, and the weirdo anarchists riding around with them in sweet ass trucks handing out disaster relief supplies. We got us and no goddamn police chief can touch that.

Always Against the State, Always FTP.
-some belligerent anarchists


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