Dunn Officials, NAACP Discuss Police Shooting
Posted August 31, 2006
DUNN, N.C. — City officials met with local NAACP representatives Thursday morning, two weeks after a black teen was killed by a police officer trying to serve an arrest warrant.
City Manager Ronnie Autry and Police Chief B.P. Jones met for an hour with officials of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Autry described the meeting as productive and said more meetings are planned to improve relations between the police and the local African-American community.
Both sides said they also would work in the coming months to establish a local human relations commission to help better relationships in the diverse community.
Police tried to serve a warrant on Aug. 18 on 19-year-old Matthew Burress in connection with a recent shooting. When officers arrived, Burress came toward them with a gun, and an officer opened fire and killed Burris, police said.
Some nearby residents dispute the police version of events, saying Burris was unarmed. They also maintain that Burris' shooting was racially motivated.
The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident.
NAACP officials wanted more details on the shooting, but they agreed to wait until the SBI completes its investigation, Autry said.
NAACP officials also expressed concerns over the fact that the Dunn Police Department is comprised mostly of white officers, and city officials assured the representatives they would continue to recruit black officers.