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NC NAACP, others react locally to Ferguson

Posted November 25, 2014

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— The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP was among a number of local groups weighing in on Monday's grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in death of Michael Brown when the unarmed teen was fatally shot more than three months ago.

NAACP President Rev. William Barber said at a news conference Tuesday morning that the decision was an "indictment and a charge against a system that is not willing to fully address the racial and discriminatory flaws that exist."

Barber railed against a judicial system that he says perpetuates discrimination and the criminalization of black men.

"It's an indictment on a district attorney who was elected to be an advocate for the people and the search of truth as opposed to an advocate for the perpetrator," Barber said of the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson. "Mike Brown's family did not have an advocate in the secret rooms of the grand jury."

Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said the jury of nine whites and three blacks met on 25 separate days over three months, hearing more than 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses, including three medical examiners and experts on blood, toxicology and firearms.

"They are the only people that have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence," McCullough said, adding that the jurors "poured their hearts and soul into this process."

After the announcement that Wilson would not be charged, violence erupted in the streets of St. Louis County. There were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing, and there were 21 more arrests in St. Louis, where protestors broke some store windows.

At least 14 people were injured during the violent night.

At Tuesday's news conference in Raleigh, Barber cautioned journalists in attendance about how they cover the protests.

"There is something underneath the protests. We have to deal with the fact, and we have to put this front and center," he said. "The reality of racial injustice in our system are not figments of people's imaginations. America cannot ignore the cry, the pain, the hurt."

Barber also called for reforms to the justice system that he said gives police officers "too much power." He said the NAACP and other civil rights groups are asking for reforms that will stop police abuse and require mandatory training on racial bias and the use of force. Barber also said every police officer should be required to wear cameras on their bodies to record every encounter with a civilian.

"A police officer is the only one I know that can knock on my door, hand a piece of paper to me and take my son out of my house in handcuffs and I don't do everything I can to stop him," he said. "That's power."

Elsewhere in the Triangle, others spoke out.

Protests and vigils were scheduled for Tuesday evening in downtown Durham, at CBC Plaza, and Chapel Hill, where students at the University of North Carolina gathered on campus to have their voices heard through silence.

Hundreds of students left classes at noon to gather in The Pit for what they called a "die-in." A crowd gathered to listen to speakers talk about racism in their lives, and they also lay on the ground in silence for 4.5 minutes to represent the 4.5 hours that Brown's body lay on the ground after he was killed.

Vigils were also planned Tuesday evening for Moore Square in downtown Raleigh and also at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

"As leaders and citizens of our community, we must not be silent," said Pullen Memorial's Rev. Nancy Petty. "What happened in Ferguson impacts everyone in this nation."

Triangle leaders say what's needed is a shift in thinking and reform of the justice system.

The NAACP and other national organizations say they want to see racial bias training for all law enforcement officers and for all officers to wear body cameras. They would also like to see the creation of a national police commission for greater oversight.


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  • weasel2 Nov 26, 2014

    Go to Ferguson, maybe they will keep you. Because NC neither wants or needs you.

  • MaxD Nov 26, 2014

    Pants up, don't shoot!

  • Mad Dawg Nov 26, 2014

    The NC NAACP just needs to sit down and shut up. Unless they know ALL the facts surrounding this matter, which they don't, they have nothing to stand on. The more they speak on subjects they know nothing about, it makes them look as bad as the same people they claim are being wronged. Protest is good, asking questions is good when it is done right. All the NC NAACP is doing is perpetuating poor race relations.

  • America#1 Nov 26, 2014

    The lesson learned here is, if you rob a store, bully the store clerk, repeatedly assault a police officer, try to take the officers weapon, and get fatally shot. "It's an indictment and a charge against a system that is not willing to fully address the racial and discriminatory flaws that exist" what? "It's an indictment on a district attorney" what?
    Pull your pants up and stop acting like a fool.

  • Gary Lasereyes Nov 26, 2014

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    Nope. They are always the victim and never responsible for their actions. It fits the narrative and how they were brought up

  • Jeff Cates Nov 26, 2014
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    Well said! It's time for all of us to work and stand Together to make this country a better place!!..

  • Jeff Johnson Nov 26, 2014
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    Ah, I get it. Ferguson is part of Obama's redistribution of wealth concept. He didn't send in the national guard to stop the pillaging. I'm assuming he intended for the loot to help pacify those who felt a need to dishonor Michael Brown and Doctor King by distroying their community. Insurance and their premium payers (that's you and me) will pick up the tab for this. By initiating a federal investigation into the local law enforcement, Obama all but garenteed riots and pillaging. It's a pity our educational system is incapable of teaching civility, we'd be falling from the pinnacle of civilization a little less quickly. Liberalism at its best, eh?

  • Icaretoo Nov 26, 2014

    Is any news agency going to address the fact that Michael Brown played a part in this sad event. He showed total disrespect of the law, he broke the law. I feel the fact he had just robbed a store and bullied a clerk is why he was on the defensive when the officer approached him. Also, keep in mind the officer was sitting and Brown was standing over him. Brown had all the leverage. There is not a person out there that would not feel threatened under the same circumstances.

  • Kyblue Nov 26, 2014

    Hans - are you really so full of hate for white people as you seem to be? If so, you are part of the problem and not the solution. Get your raincoat on and go protest how you are so mistreated...somehow, I think you will stay by your computer.

  • SAY 'WHAT" ONE MORE TIME! Nov 26, 2014

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    Love it