September 23, 2016

North Carolina NAACP’s Statement on Officer-Involved Shooting in Charlotte

By Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Regional Moderator for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina

Today, the North Carolina NAACP State Conference stands with those in mourning in the city of Charlotte. We call for the full release of all facts available. We ask that the city of Charlotte be transparent with any video and any additional information held by the city that can bring light in the tragic death of Mr. Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of a Charlotte police officer yesterday.

The NAACP has had more than 100-years of experience in analyzing, grieving and learning from officer-involved shootings and we grieve every loss. We believe in full investigations, and listening first before speaking. Initial statements are often affected by loyalties-- both institutional and familial. In these days of ready video and audio recordings, we believe that reviewing these recordings can and will help both sides get to the truth.

Our local branch has reached out to us, as well as The U.S. Department of Justice. We are reaching out to the family of Mr. Scott and the city officials to offer our support.

We support those who exercise the right to peacefully protest, and encourage the first amendment right to call for redress of wrongs. We stand against efforts that undermine the legitimate calls for justice with unjust, random or purposeless acts of violence.

Tomorrow, we will be in Charlotte to talk with the family, key members of the community and City leaders. Once we have completed our preliminary investigation, the State Conference will host a 1pm news conference. The location of the news conference will be announced.

Our objective is simple: to ensure justice-loving people act toward Justice, with all evidence, and that we stand together and act from a place of power and love, rather than out of fear and anger. Our Movement must always ensure our work promotes both Truth and Justice; in many cultures and languages, these two sacred ideas are one word and one idea.

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