NAACP

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Thousands of workers are heading to Virginia's capital city to push for higher wages.

The first-ever "Fight for $15 Convention" is being held in Richmond on Friday and Saturday.

Workers are gathering to press for a $15 minimum wage nationwide. Organizers say the event is expected to draw thousands of low-wage workers from the fast food, retail and farming industries, among others.

The event kicks off Friday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center with remarks from Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union.

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BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - Baltimore's police commissioner says biased law enforcement tactics won't be tolerated, adding that the department has already fired some officers who committed some of the most egregious violations found during a Justice Department investigation.

Kevin Davis said during a news conference Wednesday that biased police tactics won't be tolerated, and that such behavior is "fostering fear in our communities."

Davis says the department is committed to making meaningful changes, but says change will take time, commitment and trust.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - An Ocean City marina is selling T-shirts featuring the phrases "White Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" to spread awareness - about the conservation of white and blue marlins.
 
The NAACP is not pleased about this.
 
White Marlin Marina worker George Lamplugh, who designed the shirts, says he means no offense, and that fishermen know a good joke when they see one.
 

Don Rush

The Talbot County Council decided for a second time to keep the statue of a confederate soldier known as the Talbot Boys on the county courthouse lawn.  

The state had ruled that an earlier decision violated the Open Meetings Act because it took place behind closed doors.  

The council members said that they believed they had taken the sentiments of the community into consideration along with the history of the statue.

Richard Potter, president of the Talbot County branch of the NAACP, vowed to fight on to remove the statue.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Black lawmakers in Virginia are criticizing Republicans for filing a lawsuit that attempts to prevent more than 200,000 felons from voting in November.

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus is planning to hold several rallies this month to oppose the GOP lawsuit and show their support for Gov. Terry McAuliffe's executive order that restored voting rights for 206,000 felons who have completed their sentences. The caucus will be joined by the Virginia State Conference NAACP, Virginia AFL-CIO, the ACLU of Virginia and the New Virginia Majority.

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Many thought the issue had been settled.

But the statue of a confederate soldier in Easton known as The Talbot Boys is coming back before the Talbot County Council.

On June 7th the council will once again discuss and vote on the fate of the statue which has generated controversy in the community.

The council previously decided to keep the statue after a closed door session which state officials said violated the open meetings act.

The NAACP wants the creation of a commission the produce a new statue that would include union and confederate soldiers.

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A Maryland state compliance panel has found that the Talbot County Council violated state law when it decided behind closed doors to keep the statue of a confederate soldier known as The Talbot Boys on the courthouse lawn.

Corey Pack, president of the council, says he disagreed with the ruling but read a statement aloud in a public meeting to inform residents of the letter sent by the board to comply with its decision.   

WBOC reports that Pack said he believes the process was open and noted that the council held its own public comments session before making the decision.

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The death of Jeremy McDole who was shot and killed  by Wilmington Police while in a wheelchair has the NAACP calling on state officials to shed more light on the case.

Police recently announced that they have finished their investigation into the shooting but have not released the results.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that police did reveal there was gunshot residue found on McDole’s hand and clothing when he was shot.

Police say that they only shot McDole when he reached for a gun after declining to raise his hands.

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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.

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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.

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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.
 

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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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