NAACP releases list of demands in response to Charlotte shooting
Posted September 26, 2016
Charlotte, N.C. — The NAACP issued a list of demands Monday evening in response to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and other similar incidents.
Members of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference along with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP and the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice met at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte for the call to action.
In their list of demands, the NAACP called for major criminal justice reform, and for the topic to be addressed at presidential, gubernatorial and senatorial debates, for media outlets to broaden their analysis of violence “to include social violence inflicted by extremist policies such as the denial of Medicaid expansion and living wages.
On Sunday, NAACP President Rev. William Barber said the organization is not convinced that the shooting of Scott was justified, based on what the dash camera and body camera footage released over the weekend show.
Reading the list of demands, Barber called for the immediate release of any footage relating to Scott's death that may still be in the custody of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or the State Bureau of Investigation. Barber also called for an independent investigation by the Department of Justice into Scott's death and into the pattern and practices of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department with all findings made public.
The NAACP also called for accountability for officers who were wearing body cameras at the scene when Scott was shot but who did not have the cameras turned on at the time.
The American Civil Liberties Union made a statement Monday saying it stands with those who want all dash and body camera footage released.
“In the interest of full transparency, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police must stop releasing information on a piecemeal basis and disclose all remaining body and dash camera footage as well as of audio dispatch recordings of the moments before and after Mr. Scott was killed,” said a statement from Susanna Birdsong of the ACLU of North Carolina.
Barber said the NAACP also wants federal standards developed regarding the use of lethal force including training for police officers, psychological screenings and removal of officers with a propensity to overreact.
"We are not anti-police. We are anti-murder by police, we are anti-police brutality, we are anti-police violence," Barber said. "We protest because we will not allow race to be a trigger for death."
The NAACP also called for the repeal of House Bill 972, which blocks the public from accessing police video recordings.
"That bill requires a court order to release footage of police recordings, thus shrouding in secrecy a system already distrusted by the public," Barber said. "It would be good and you would feel much safter if you knew that the police cameras were on. But why have them on and not have access to them?"
Other demands also included a call for local citizen review board with power to receive complaints from the general public and conduct independent investigations as well as discipline law enforcement officers for misconduct.
The NAACP also called on Rep. Robert Pittenger to do more than apologize for his statement that the Charlotte protesters "hate white people, because white people are successful and they're not.'
The NAACP on Monday also made a call to action to get people registered to vote, which they say is a move important in justice reform.
A number of activists and residents took to the podium at Monday night's Charlotte City Council meeting to announce a list of their own demands. Some called for the resignation of Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney. Others demanded an end to the state of emergency and the removal of the National Guard from the city.
Some asked City Council members to do more to protect their citizens.