NAACP

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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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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Protests of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, Missouri, are expected to continue this week with the NAACP chapter at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore planning a rally.

The Daily Times reports the university's NAACP rally is inviting supporters to gather Tuesday in the courtyard at the Student Services Center of the Princess Anne campus.

According to the group's Facebook page, the event starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The group is also urging participants to wear black clothing.

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The relations between the community and police in Salisbury took center stage at a forum held by the Wicomico County branch of the NAACP last night.

The gathering at the Chipman Cultural Center featured Charles Phillips a conciliation specialist for the Community Relations Service of the U.S. Justice Department.

During the two horu meeting, there were a number of residents who expressed interest in an oversight board for the police.

Local resident April Jackson said that while she has not been afraid of the police in the past, she is beginning to now.

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This Thursday the Wicomico County NAACP Chapter is holding a community forum that will include a discussion of creating a police review board. But, Salisbury City Council member Shanie Shields, who represents the minority majority district, says she has serious reservations about such a plan.  Delmarva Public Radio's Tom Hunt caught up with her as she prepared to attend the event.

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The Wicomico Branch of the NAACP will be holding a forum on police conduct.

It comes in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

It is to be held at the Chipman Cultural Center Thursday evening with goals to engage citizens in developing strategies to deal with charges of police misconduct as well as sustaining the relationship between police and the community.

In addition, the meeting hopes to address racial profiling.

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The Salisbury City Council held a hearing on a proposal to dramatically alter the political landscape by dividing the town up into 5 separate districts.

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The New Castle county Council has unanimously approved a $174.2 million operating budget that does not raise property taxes.

There was some acrimony though when the council considered pulling a quarter of a million from the budget for the Wilmington Fire Department.

It was kept by a 10-to-3 vote.

But, Sam Guy, one of the top executive assistants to County Council Tom Gordon, compared this to the decision by two members of the Sussex County council not to provide $100 each in grant money for a youth program by the NAACP.

Guy is a former NAACP branch president.

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The recent decision by two members of the Sussex County Council not to provide a grant of $100 each to a youth program by the NAACP has caused an uproar. Council members Sam Wilson and Vance Phillips decided not to provide the grant because the organization's name included the phrase for the advancement of colored people, which they felt was discriminatory. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Richard Smith, president of the state NAACP, who said after he appeared before the council this week to protest the vote Phillips did reach out to him in an email.

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Supporters of the NAACP blasted two members of the Sussex County Council yesterday when they withheld a $100 grant each for the civil rights organization calling it’s a discriminatory group.

Council member Sam Wilson took offense at the phrase colored people in the organization’s name and he was joined by fellow council member Vance Phillips.

Jane Hovington, president of the local NAACP chapter whose grant was turned down told the council members they owned the renowned organization an apology not just to the civil rights group but the people of Sussex County.

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Sussex County Council member Sam Wilson found himself explaining his decision not to provide a $100 grant this week to a program run by the Lower Sussex Branch NAACP Youth Council because the name included the phrase colored people.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Wilson said he believed that the group only advocated for black people to the exclusion of white people.

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The NAACP Youth Council will not be getting $100 grants each from Sussex County Council members Vance Phillips and Sam Wilson because they object to word colored people in the name of the civil rights organization.

Wilson told the county finance director to take his name off when it came to providing the grant to the NAACP Youth council asking someone to tell him what the letters NAACP stand for.

When told Council member Vance Phillips joined Wilson who added that sounded like discrimination to him.

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New Castle County Council member Lisa Diller charged the administration of County Executive Tom Gordon with waging “a war on women.”

The issue surrounds an incident that occurred at a September 10th council meeting in which Diller raised her voice, angrily telling the County Attorney who is black to brief the council about a lawsuit involving the county and developers.

Gordon sent an email to her saying that her comments were part of a pattern of demeaning behavior and condescension by council members toward his aides.

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The Salisbury Police Department wants to add the Taser Cam to its non-lethal arsenal.

If approved the Tasers would be worn on the belt and would have video capabilities that would visually capture events as they unfold.

Captain Scott Kolb with the department said these could be used like the in car camera in police cars.

Police Chief Barbara Duncan noted that the department was the only one on the Eastern Shore that does not have Tasers in its arsenal.

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The President of the Wicomico County NAACP is demanding an explanation from Mayor Jim Ireton for his dismissal of Lore’ Chambers.

She had been assistant city administrator for Salisbury for the last 5 years.

President Mary Ashanti said her organization was “extremely disappointed and dismayed” by the Mayor’s actions.

When asked by the Salisbury Daily Times as to whether Ashanti considered the firing an act of discrimination she replied that given Chambers is African American it is “a matter of protocol.”

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Opponents of capital punishment are calling for an end to Delaware's death penalty.

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday in the state Senate chambers as lawmakers announced the pending introduction of a bill that would do away with the death penalty and prevent the 17 inmates already on death row from being executed.

Opponents of the death penalty say it's morally wrong, ineffective as a deterrent to violent crime and far more costly than putting killers in prison for life.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court has ruled police must release files relating to how authorities investigate racial profiling.

The Maryland Court of Appeals released the decision on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP have contended the Maryland State Police must turn over the record. Police have argued the documents are personnel records that are exempt from disclosure under Maryland's public information law.

BALTIMORE (AP) - The NAACP is joining Gov. Martin O’Malley and lawmakers in a call to repeal the death penalty.

Benjamin Jealous, the CEO of the National Association of Colored People, will participate in the news conference on Tuesday in Annapolis.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and Gerald Stansbury, president of the NAACP’s state conference, also are scheduled to attend.

The potential of repealing capital punishment in Maryland has been highlighted since the General Assembly convened last week for the state of its legislative session.

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller says he will allow a vote on a measure that would repeal the death penalty.

Miller personally supports the death penalty.

But the Democrat said he has told Governor Martin O’Malley he would give him an opportunity to have a vote.

In the past it has been buried in a Senate committee.

Miller told the Baltimore Sun that if the Governor has the votes he will allow it to go to the floor.

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African American leaders, activists and community members gathered at a rally yesterday where a 27-year old man came to rest after being shot by a New Castle County police officer.

They are calling for an investigation into the fifth police-involved shooting this year.

Those attending were members of the Black Clergy Consortium, the Interfaith Coalition Building Blocks of Wilmington as well as state and local branches of the NAACP.