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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
NAACP Missouri Announces Effort to Support Federal Investigation
Ferguson, MO -- Leaders with the Missouri State Conference and St. Louis Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on August 19 announced its efforts to support the federal investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown and other policing complaints, and to assist the Ferguson community deal with civil unrest.
NAACP leaders are working with attorneys and senior staff from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and special agents with local and federal FBI offices, to bring forward witnesses, gather evidence and hear testimony from individuals with knowledge of the August 9 incident.
In addition, the NAACP announced it would expand its prior civil rights complaints filed with DOJ, and request comprehensive reviews of policing practices across the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. These include reports of police intimidation, misconduct, brutality and racial profiling against citizens of St. Louis County and St. Charles County, among others.
According to Adolphus Pruitt, NAACP St. Louis City President, mediation agreements between NAACP and the police departments in St. Louis and City of Pinelawn are also moving forward as a result of assistance provided by the Department of Justice. "With DOJ, we negotiated an agreement that required the St. Louis police department to adopt an electronic device policy preventing officers from utilizing their personal electronic devices unless to document a crime underway," said Pruitt.
In its investigation of Pinelawn, the NAACP documented over 150 cases of police issuing citations as a form of intimidation. "We are working to require the City of Pinelawn to establish a citizen’s review panel to eliminate -- or greatly reduce -- these infringements of the civil rights of the community," said Pruitt.
To support the resident affected by police actions in Ferguson, local leaders are requesting more community policing, and that "free zones" be established where individuals can assemble peacefully to discuss community concerns about police activity and personal safety. Young leaders and students of the NAACP's Missouri Youth and College Division organized a forum on the Michael Brown case with Judge Greg Mathis—asking witnesses to come forward.
Additional local outreach efforts include identifying needs and resources for families and businesses in Ferguson, and requesting assistance from the state Departments of Economic Development, Health and Human Services, as well as housing agencies.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.
August 19, 2014