KKK mask painted on sheriff’s poster

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

SURRY — Two of Surry County Sheriff Carlos Turner’s campaign signs were vandalized with what authorities describe as Ku Klux Klan imagery. 

Spring Grove resident John R. Everett was arrested Sept. 20 and charged with five counts related to the spray-painting of what’s described as a white Klansman hood over Turner’s face on two signs, plus a car chase that ensued that Friday.    

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Turner conducted the pursuit himself. 

Charges against Everett include two felony counts of eluding a law enforcement officer and possession of ammunition, and three misdemeanors — the defacement of a campaign sign, DUI and refusing to take a breathalyzer test, according to Turner. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Turner said in an interview on Friday that he was attending an event at the Farm Bureau when he got word that a campaign sign situated on the Prince George and Surry County line sign had been vandalized. 

On the way home, Turner said he caught Everett at another one of his campaign signs located at the corner of Martin Luther King Highway and Colonial Trail West in the Spring Grove area, with white spray paint and a stencil in his pickup truck. 

Turner said he turned his police lights on and approached the suspect standing next to the sign, and Everett then walked away from the sign and got into his truck. 

In the truck’s cab, Turner said that Everett wouldn’t sit still, and as he was waiting for backup, Everett’s brake lights came on and he took off down Martin Luther King Highway. 

The car chase ensued for several miles until Everett attempted a right turn onto Salisbury Road and crashed into a ditch next to a soybean field, said Turner. 

Everett has been released from custody on bail, according to court documents. 

As to motivation, Turner said, “I couldn’t tell you,” adding that one of the police dispatchers had worked in the area for over three decades and had never seen anything like it.  

Turner’s opponent for the sheriff’s seat, R.M. “Rocky” Barbee, released a statement about the vandalism. 

Turner is black and Barbee is white. 

In the statement, he denied claims that he and his campaign were somehow involved, calling them “unjustified, untrue, unnecessary and unfounded,” and calling whoever committed the crimes unstable and saying that they should be punished at the full extent of the law. 

He also praised Turner’s quick action and called for a collective condemnation of the vandalism. {/mprestriction}