Salisbury police have charged a Kernersville man with firing a gun during a confrontation Sunday with protesters at a Confederate statue in Salisbury.
Jeffrey Alan Long, 49, was charged with carrying a weapon at a parade, two counts of misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun and discharging a firearm inside city limits, court records show. Long was released from custody after posting a $2,000 bond, Salisbury police said.
Long is scheduled to appear in Rowan District Court on July 7.
Salisbury police officers said they were stationed one block away from the protests near the Confederate statue on Innes Street. Two separate groups had gathered with permission in downtown Salisbury when the shots were fired, a police department statement said.
At 7 p.m., officers reported seeing Long pull a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol from his waistband and fire two rounds into the air, the statement said. Long then put the gun back in his waistband and walked away toward the 100 block of Church Street, followed by protesters.
Officers took Long into custody as he made his way back to the intersection and found a second handgun in an ankle holster, the statement said.
Long is linked to Confederate causes, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks such groups and individuals.
A Facebook page that appears to belong to Long has numerous public posts about Confederate causes and a derogatory post about Somalia.
Long is also Facebook friends with people connected to groups identified as hate groups, including the leader of Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, North Carolina, a neo-Confederate group, according to the SPLC.
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