NAACP

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The Portsmouth chapter of the NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the death of a mentally ill jail inmate who died while waiting for a bed at a state mental hospital.

NAACP Portsmouth chapter President James Boyd says in a statement that the group is seeking an investigation to ensure that improvements are made after the death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell. The Virginian-Pilot  reports that Mitchell was arrested in April after authorities accused him of stealing snacks and a soda from a convenience store.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The NAACP says it will investigate two recent deadly police shootings that have happened in Norfolk.

The Virginian-Pilot  reports that Norfolk chapter President Joe Dillard said Tuesday afternoon that the families of India Beaty and Tyre Privott asked his office for help. Dillard said he's asked state NAACP officials for assistance. Police say 25-year-old Beaty, a black woman, was shot and killed by officers Saturday after threatening them with what turned out to be a fake handgun. Norfolk police shot and killed Privott on March 11.

Don Rush

Maryland officials told Wicomico County residents that when it came to pollution from the planned mega chicken house operation along Naylor Mill Road there would be zero tolerance.

There were around 400 people who showed up at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center for last night’s meeting put together by County Executive Bob Culver.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that among the signs at the meeting – one read: “Save our water for our future.”

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There was a protest of around 25 people outside Governor Jack Markell’s office in downtown Wilmington.

It was held by the NAACP and black ministers who called on the governor to act in response to the widespread allegations of racism in state government.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Reverend Silvester Beaman of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church said there should be zero tolerance such behavior.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Former Maryland Democratic congressman and former head of the NAACP Kweisi Mfume has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, her campaign says.

The Clinton campaign announced Mfume's endorsement in a news release on Monday.

Mfume says Clinton has a track record of working for everyday people, especially on issues important to the African American and Latino communities.

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EASTON, Md. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Talbot County branch of the NAACP are challenging the way the county decided to keep the Talbot Boys monument honoring Confederate soldiers.

The two groups announced Tuesday in a release that they filed a complaint asking the Open Meetings Compliance Board to rule that the county council violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act. They allege that while the council held public forums on the matter, it didn't provide minutes of closed door discussions about it.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Opponents of capital punishment are planning a rally to protest the defeat of a bill repealing Delaware's death penalty, and what they describe as chronic racial injustice in the state.

Demonstrators planned to gather for a "Moral Monday" protest outside Legislative Hall on Monday.

They say protests will be a weekly occurrence during this year's legislative session.

Organizations supporting the protests include the NAACP, the Complexities of Color Coalition, the Delaware Repeal Project, and Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty.

news.delaware.gov

The new Labor Secretary in Delaware has gotten high praise from a coalition of ministers and the NAACP after accusations have swirled around agency of racist atmosphere in the agency.

Patrice Gilliam-Johnson is African American and has known Governor Jack Markell for decades.

She is chairwoman of the Organizational Dynamics program at Wilmington University.

The appointment comes after 73 year-old John McMahon announced his retirement as his agency faced accusations of racism in a report by the coalition of ministers.

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A coalition of groups has released a report that found rampant racial discrimination for Delaware state employees.

The report was released by the NAACP and other groups this week and came after a meeting with Governor Jack Markell.

WBOC reports that the findings from testimony from state employees ranged from 26 percent complaining about a hostile work environment to 24 percent about recruitment, hiring and promotion problems.

In addition, another 18 percent testified that there was racial discrimination while another 17 percent said they had seen retaliation.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The organizers of a Christmas parade in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, are having second thoughts about allowing a Southern heritage group to march in the parade with a Confederate battle flag.
 
The Sons of Confederate Veterans carried the flag in the parade one week ago despite complaints from the local chapter of the NAACP. The civil rights group wanted the flag banished from the parade.
 
But city officials and the parade organizers defended the group's First Amendment rights to fly the flag.
 

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BALTMORE, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore neighborhood that experienced the worst of April's rioting after Freddie Gray's funeral was calm in the hours after the mistrial of the first officer charged in Gray's death.

Tessa Hill-Aston is president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP. She took part in a prayer and unity gathering Wednesday night at the intersection that was the epicenter of April's unrest.

She says people are expressing support for peace. Nearby, protesters peacefully called for justice and greater awareness of the community's economic hardships.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - City Council members in a Virginia city say they have no grounds to ban the Confederate battle flag from a Christmas parade.

Local media outlets report that the topic arose at Monday's meeting in Roanoke, days after NAACP leaders called on city leaders to ban the flag from the event.

Several council members condemned it as a hateful symbol but said the First Amendment doesn't allow them to bar it.

The parade is scheduled for Friday. The flag has been flown in recent years by the Sons of Confederate Veterans 28th Virginia Infantry Camp.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The prospect of a Confederate battle flag flying in a holiday parade in Roanoke has prompted civil rights officials to call on the city to ban the Civil War symbol of the South.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans are scheduled to march Friday in The Roanoke Times Dickens of a Christmas parade.

At a news conference Saturday, the president of the city chapter of the NAACP called on city officials to banish the flag from the parade route, according to the Times.

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Last night a Somerset County Planning and Zoning hearing got an earful about concerns over the increasing number of chicken houses in the region.

WBOC reports that residents from Princess Anne called on the county commissioners to deal with issues ranging from noise and pollution to traffic and smells among other things.

A number of residents complained that they have been overrun by the chicken houses endangering their property values.

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There’s an internet petition being circulated calling for keeping the confederate statue of The Talbot Boy outside the courthouse in Easton.

It has racked up over 500 signatures with the petition calling the statue a piece of history for the town and a work of art.

WBOC reports that the NAACP and some local churches say they want the statue to be moved from the courthouse grounds.

Richard Potter, president of the Talbot County Branch of the NAACP, told the station that the statue is a symbol of division with no monument for the union soldiers who died the civil war.

dover police department

The Dover Police Department held a public outreach meeting with the local NAACP last night.

Chevis Anderson. a community activist with the Greater Dover Arts Council, told WBOC that the meeting was a defining moment for the city.

Questions have swirled about the police department after a video of Corporal Thomas Webster showed him kicking an African American man in the head.

He has been suspended.

In addition, an officer involved shooting ink August got the community’s attention.

The man faces gun charges.

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EASTON, Md. (AP) - Dozens of Talbot County residents have met to discuss their opinions on a statue that depicts a young soldier bearing the Confederate flag and lists the names of county residents who fought for the Confederacy.
 
The Star Democrat of Easton reports that the Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity on Wednesday held a public meeting in Easton, with 84 people in attendance to discuss the "Talbot Boys" statue. The statue has stood on the Talbot County Courthouse green for nearly a century.
 

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Last night a number of state employees told a hearing held by the Delaware NAACP about workplace discrimination.

The testimony was heard at the Immanuel House of Praise in Seaford where retired corrections officer Matthew Gibbs said during his time he saw favoritism and nepotism in what he called a buddy-buddy system.

WBOC reports that the 31 year Gibbs said there needs to be a better process for getting promotions.

The hearing is part of an effort by the Delaware NAACP in response to complaints it has received about racial discrimination in state government.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Dover Police say a man who was shot by an officer has been charged, and is continuing his recovery in a prison infirmary.

Officers say 21-year-old Terrance Fletcher has been charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a person prohibited. He was arraigned while at the hospital where he was taken after Friday's shooting.

Authorities say Fletcher was shot in the thigh by an officer who saw Fletcher with a gun in his hand. Police say Fletcher ran from a Probation and Parole officer who tried to contact him.

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The Delaware NAACP wants an independent investigation into the police shooting of Terrance Fletcher.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that initially the mayor had said that Fletcher pointed a gun at the Dover officer after being chased.

It was then, the mayor said, the officer shot Fletcher.

But the paper says the Dover police would not even confirm the mayor’s account or describe the circumstances of the shooting.

The News Journal reports that the white officer, whose name has not been released, shot the 21-year old in the torso.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A coalition of pastors and the NAACP that is investigating accusations of discrimination in state government is beginning to seek testimony at hearings in Kent and Sussex counties.
 
The Wilmington News Journal  reports that the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a coalition of churches in the Dover area, and the Central Delaware NAACP have joined black pastors in New Castle County to conduct the hearings starting Tuesday.
 

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Website

African American pastors in Delaware are investigating – what they say – is racism by state employees.

The interviews are being carried out by the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council and the NAACP.

Eventually they will hand over a report to Governor Jack Markell.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the ministers and NAACP say they have heard accounts from African American workers.

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DELMAR, Del. (AP) - Dozens of Confederate flag supporters held a rally Saturday as they drove to the Delaware Confederate veterans monument in Georgetown.

The Wilmington News Journal  reports that more than more 40 drivers participated in the procession. The drivers started in Delmar and then drove to Harrington and Georgetown.

Organizer Kenneth Morris, with the Sussex County Mudslingerz organization, says he was helping to lead the rally in order to defend what he called his "heritage."

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The New Castle County police will begin using body cameras as the nation reels from another officer involved shooting caught on camera.

The department has begun a pilot program and becomes the largest in the state to use them.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state Attorney General Matt Denn said it is his intent that every officer in the state will wear one.

The Delaware NAACP which has pushed for their use praised New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon and other local leaders for moving ahead with the program.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - When Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby decided to run for her current office, she reached out to community activists, politicians and business leaders - but almost all discouraged her from seeking election.

She told an audience at the NAACP convention in Philadelphia on Sunday that the skeptics said she was too inexperienced and unable to raise enough money, and they questioned her "audacity."

The line drew cheers from the largely female crowd of more than 500.

dover police

There is a war being waged in and on the black community in Dover.

That was the charge by La Mar Gunn, president of the Central Delaware Branch of the NAACP yesterday.

After an indictment city police officer Cpl. Thomas Webster was arrested for assault for allegedly kicking suspect Lateef Dickerson in August of last year.

During a press conference in front of City Hall the NAACP official stood with other local leaders and said that the incident had hit a nerve in the community.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware NAACP is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate a shooting by Wilmington police that left a man gravely wounded.

Twenty-four-year-old Marvin Jones is a quadriplegic on life support following the shooting during a traffic stop in January.

A police spokeswoman said after the shooting that the suspect had shot at officers and that one officer "returned fire." Police now say Jones never pulled the trigger, but they say he pointed a gun at officers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A proposal to decriminalize marijuana possession in Virginia has been quickly snuffed out.

The Republican-controlled state Senate Courts of Justice Committee rejected Sen. Adam Ebbin's decriminalization bill Wednesday on a party-line 9-5 vote.

The measure would have eliminated jail time for possession of marijuana, instead making it punishable by a maximum $100 civil penalty.

Ebbin, an Alexandria Democrat, argued that criminalization of marijuana has failed to reduce use of the drug and has made criminals out of nonviolent citizens.

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A small group of protesters gathered on the campus the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to protest in the wake of a grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who killed an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The rally was organized by the local chapter of the NAACP on the UMES campus.

Some carried signs readying “Hands up Don’t Shoot #Mike Brown” while another asked “Why Is He Dead.”

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With the shooting of an African American teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, an effort is now underway to get law enforcement officers in Delaware to wear body cameras to better account for what happens when situations turn violent. Richard Smith, state president of the NAACP in Delaware, says it would go along way toward easing tensions between the police and the black community.  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Smith about the prospect of getting body cameras for local police.

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