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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guns, Tasers, The National NAACP and leadership

Finally after over a dozen years of dis-organization and disarray the National office of the NAACP is doing something pro-active and productive. Yes, finally, the NAACP President has Called for National Legislation Following Police Shooting at Church Day Care.

The blogs Tasered While Black and Electrocuted While Black have been following the Tasering of black folks for many months. I'm glad to see that the National NAACP is following behind many local NAACP branches and is showing a faint sign of leadership. The NAACP leadership has decided to use the proven approach of viral internet advocacy used by The Color of Change, The afrospear.

As reported on the NAACP website, few weeks ago, police shot and killed Mark Anthony Barmore, a 23-year-old African American man in Rockford, Illinois. Eyewitnesses say that outside the church day care center, Mr. Barmore encountered two police officers who apparently were looking for him on an allegation of domestic violence. He ran inside the church, and the officers followed him, guns drawn, without a warrant. After Mr. Barmore entered a small boiler room, the police demanded he come out. He slowly exited the room with his hands up. Then, witnesses say, police shot him -- in front of children in the day care center. While he lay face down, police shot him three more times in the back.

AAPP: One has to wonder why it took the NAACP so long to address this issue. I reported on this deadly daycare/church shooting long ago.

NAACP President Jealous is leading a delegation of NAACP leaders and staff to launch the NAACP’s investigation into the police killing and is calling for a Department of Justice investigation. The protest rally in Rockford with Reverend Jesse Jackson, President Jealous and State and local NAACP leaders on September 12th will be followed by a major mobilization on October 3rd.

The NAACP has also been working with Congress, and specifically House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (MI) to enact legislation to mandate official standards for the use of force for every law enforcement agency from federal marshals to rank and file cops on the beat.

AAPP: This is great news, it would be great if the National NAACP held sessions with the Afrospear, Color of Change and other grassroots groups who have been working on the issue of standards for the use of force. But then again, why would I expect the NAACP to do something like that? That would be to much like right.

As the NAACP notes: Currently, there are as many use-of-force policies as there are law enforcement agencies, and there are as many interpretations of those policies as there are law enforcement officers. This lack of uniformity is one of the core reasons behind the tragedy in Rockford and in too many other police shootings across the Nation.

Note: It's interesting that the NAACP is addressing this issue. But there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. The NAACP should be looking at how the Obama stimulus spending has supported the gun industry.

As reported by The Chicago Sun Times, from the perspective of police departments -- not to mention gunmakers -- the Obama administration may go down as one of the most gun-friendly in history. Police departments are using the stimulus bill to boost their arsenals with shotguns, handguns, and assault rifles.

Among the general public, a record 1 million guns were sold nationwide in August alone, rebuffing expectations that, after 10 months, the post-Obama election gun-buying spree would abate. U.S. gunmaker Smith & Wesson on Wednesday reported a 30 percent rise in sales in the first quarter.

But as police departments order new firearms using stimulus funds, there's more than a little irony in the fact that a president whom the gun industry looked upon with suspicion has put forward a federal program from which gunmakers are benefitting. More HERE

Hey, NAACP need some help. Call me. I won't be making anymore calls to you. You see, I have been calling my local branch for over a year to give my support -without a return phone call...

African American Political Pundit is a 2008 DNCC Credentialed Democratic National Convention Blogger. He is also a BlackTalk Radio and BlogTalkRadio host, who shares this blog platform with others interested in candid, honest, reciprocal conversation about political and social issues impacting our diverse American communities.


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