GREENSBORO — Five people were charged after the word “divest” was painted on the sidewalk in front of the Guilford County jail over the weekend, police say.
The word, painted in thick black letters just beside the entrance leading to the jail in Greensboro, means to deprive of power. It aligns with the call to “defund the police” heard in protests locally and across the country since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Since Floyd’s death, communities have demanded a systemic review of police policy. Many of those asking for change wish to see police departments defunded and their budgets reallocated to other services that could help to reduce crime in communities.
Greensboro Police Department spokesman Ron Glenn said the following people were charged with injury to real property after painting the sidewalk in front of the jail:
- John Wesley Hemmingway-Hunter, 28, of Greensboro.
- Samantha Rose Naber, 23, of Kernersville.
- Joshua David Hoffman, 34, of Greensboro.
- Ellis Morgan Faith, 25, of Greensboro.
- Katherine Victoria Webb, 23, of Greensboro.
Glenn said they were all arrested at the location of the incident.
Hemmingway-Hunter, who Glenn said threw a paintbrush, was also charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and received a $50 bail. The others were released on a written promise to appear.
Since the arrests, a post urging the charges be dropped has circulated on social media.