In response to the aftermath of the recent George Zimmerman “not guilty verdict”, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP stands with our national leadership and all NAACP branches across America in protecting and upholding the civil rights and livelihoods of all American citizens, particularly persons of color. We as a society simply cannot stand for the unlawful targeting and murder of innocent civilians,and as witnessed in the Trayvon Martin death, our children, and in particular our young black children.
We as a region have felt the shock and awe of the loss of innocent life all too often as well, and today we call for practical measures to be implemented that will help prevent the loss of another innocent life. For the last several years, the NAACP has amassed numerous complaints that contend that the personal rights, freedoms, and liberties, of many black and minority citizens have been violated. This is due to harmful societal and law enforcement practices such as racial profiling, various forms of intimidation and brutality, forms of harassment, the use of excessive force, and field interview practices such as stop and frisk. Many of these practices are creating undue hardships to African-American and minority citizens.
In 2013, we denounce second-class citizenship, and demand that the full rights and freedoms afforded to all Americans because of the Constitution and legal statutes be bestowed upon all citizens alike, regardless of race, gender or creed. The great disparities in the rate that African-Americans, are stopped, harassed, and incarcerated, as can be attributed to studies conducted by policy groups such as the Ochs Center, must end with all possible speed.
Likewise, we renew the calls we made as part of the Blue Ribbon Study Committee in 2010, in the aftermath of several local killings that occurred in April of 2010. We call for an end of the school to prison pipeline. We call on our communities to educate, not incarcerate. We call for the end of systemic and institutional biases that endanger our communities because of the hate, malice, and racism they produce. We call for the implementation of sensible gun laws. We call for very true and very real criminal justice reform throughout Chattanooga and Hamilton County.
Today we once again renew our call to adopt the NAACP's Smart and Safe Approach, which says we build better and safer communities through: Advancing Sentencing Reform and The Right to Vote for Formerly Incarcerated People; Advancing Effective Law Enforcement Practices; Elevating and supporting the voices of crime survivors; Removing Employment Barriers for formerly incarcerated people. As we stated at our most recent Criminal Justice Seminar in June of this year, we are striving to help the dreams of all person and of all backgrounds to Live.
We ask that our elected leaders and local law enforcement officials aide in this effort. Likewise, we call on the community to attend our General Membership Meeting on tomorrow, Tuesday July 16, at 6 p.m. at the Glenwood Recreation Center to discuss many of these important issues, as well as protecting our sacred right to vote. In order to build a better tomorrow, give hope a chance today, and the change begins with us all. We have come to far to go back now.
The Chattanooga NAACP
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I wish the NAACP would be as concerned about black on black shootings and killings as they are about Zimmerman. As of today there have been over 70 shootings in Chattanooga. Many of these shootings involve black shooters and victims.
There have been no outrage publicized by the NAACP. There have been no protests organized by the NAACP. I have not seen any posts on this website from the NAACP either. Why the outrage about this case? To me, the outrage is unjustified.
Both Martin and Zimmerman could have made decisions that night that could have resulted in no shooting at all. To say Martin was unlawfully targeted and an innocent civilian is a lie. Our justice system isn't perfect but we need to respect it.
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In regards to all those complaints concerning the brutality of the police such as stopping and frisking someone and asking questions from the young black youth, have you also received complaints about young black youths going around and shooting and killing other young black youths?
Blah, blah, blah, grandstanding over an incident that had nothing to do with race. T.M. Approached a guy and punched him and continued to beat him until the guy defended himself by shooting T.M. that was sitting on top of him. Did you not watch the trial? If you did, you would not have said T.M. was murdered.
Gangs, gangs, gangs you scream, what can we do? Well it's obvious you don't want the police stopping black males and frisking them for weapons or even interviewing them. In case you've forgotten, all our gang shootings have been black males, but if the police stop them, they're profiling.
Creepy crackers are not your problem nor the police. It's the break down of the family thus society as a whole. You solve that, then you're well on your way. Until that day get off your Sharpton soap box and stop your spewing about undue hardship of the black youth by cops doing their jobs. By the way, teenagers should be in their homes at night. Not getting shot while on their porches at 3 a.m. by other teenagers. (Parents?)
Your implementation list is fodder. Might as well say " let's sprinkle pixie dust on Chattanooga." Also, your suggestion of not incarcerating criminals? I've got to say, I don't believe anyone has been shot or robbed from a guy while that guy was sitting in a jail cell.
I want peace too, but when I read your letter making it seem like the police are the problem, sickens me. We live in a society gone wild. I'll say it now, if I find myself being sucker punched and someone beating the brakes off me, I will defend myself with my legally carried firearm and I can promise you, the age or skin color won't mean squat to me. By the way, that's not racist.
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Thank you, Mr. Gray and Mr. Burns. It's about time some of the statements they made were made publicly. This particular phrase from Mr. Burns, "We live in a society gone wild. I'll say it now, if I find myself being sucker punched and someone beating the brakes off me, I will defend myself with my legally carried firearm and I can promise you, the age or skin color won't mean squat to me. By the way, that's not racist." sums up my opinion in whole.
As for the Chattanooga NAACP and anyone else who does not like the way we do things here, they are strongly encouraged to move elsewhere.
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In his comment above, Mr. Burns states "we live in a society gone wild." When here in South Carolina we have a criminal accused of home invasion, and murder of the homeowner in the process, trying to use the "stand your ground" as his defense for murdering another human being we really do have a society that's been turned upside down. I suspect the NAACP will try to come to his defense too.
The Good Book says "physician heal thyself" (Luke 4:23), but the NAACP continues to demand others cure their problems as though their entire sector of the community is powerless to solve their own problems. That simply is not so.
Where is the NAACP when 70 percent and more of the children born in their community are illegitimate? Or when children are conceiving children?
Where is the NAACP when their children are running the streets at all hours of the day and night, playing shoot 'em up bang bang among themselves, and generally getting into trouble? Where are they when their children are truant from school?
Where is the NAACP when gangs are running their neighborhoods? Where are they when children are running the streets illegally in possession of weapons? It is still illegal for a minor child to possess a handgun back home, is it not?
Where is the NAACP when children need fathers in their lives? Are they doing anything to correct absent fatherhood?
Where is the NAACP when children are getting into trouble in school, as Trayvon Martin was? Has the NAACP gone to school administrators and the police to offer assistance working in and with the schools?
A friend of ours back home in Tennessee is fond of calling a spade a spade and a master baiter a master baiter, and that's all the NAACP is doing over this whole mess, baiting the rest of society. But our family friend is also quick to share a bit of wisdom from his grandfather, the first place to look when you need a hand is the end of your own arm.
Cura te ipsum, NAACP, cura te ipsum. It's easy to thump your chest and demand the rest of society solve your problems. When do you start teaching your children to bait a fishhook instead of packing heat? When do you start taking action yourselves instead of demanding the rest of society do it for you, then blaming us for not doing enough?
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We'll see when one of those Florida child molesters (which the state of Florida seems to have a lot of) goes before a judge and jury and use the Zimmerman's defense to get a reduced sentence after they abduct, rape and murder another child then claim they only murdered the child because the child put up a resistance and fought back. Because that's basically what folks like Michael Burns (a retired cop?) are suggesting. That is, Zim Zim had a right to shoot and kill Trayvon because Trayvon stood his ground, resisted and fought off a stranger who'd cased, followed, chased, then confronted and engaged him. Wonder what former cops like Michael Burns would say if that was their child who was killed while attempting to fight off a stranger they believed was attempting out to do them harm?
Florida criminals have already used the state's Stand Your Ground law in their defense when they're shooting at one another and innocent bystanders, even children, are caught in the crossfire.
By the way, if that was Zimmerman heard screaming for help, then why did the screams immediately stop after the shot was fired? Hmmmmm! Think about it. Plus, Zim Zim is the one with the violent history, including arrest for domestic violence. A childhood relative, or was it a family friend, also accused him of molesting her when her family would visit his. Assault on a law enforcement officer, etc.
This isn't just about Zim Zim basically getting away with murder, but a "law of negative unintended consequences" and the millions of other Zims out there just waiting for an opportunity to use the same defense. Some who already have. Just wait and see when all those chickens start coming home to roost.
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The probable reason Mr. Zimmerman stopped screaming for help is that he had just shot Mr. Martin with a 9mm pistol at point blank range.
Mr. Martin, realizing he had been shot mortally, ceased his “MMA” style attack and shortly thereafter died.
No more attack, no more screaming for help.
I also believe the man’s name is George Zimmerman and not ”zim zim,” just as your last name is Manghane-Washington and not “man-wash.”
John T. Sanders
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Your inability to refrain from comparing apples to oranges is disturbing. I'll get to that in a moment.
But first, after thinking about it (which you instructed us to do), I'll answer a question you posed: Maybe, just maybe, the screams immediately stopped after the shot was fired because Zimmerman (Zim Zim? really?) was no longer getting beat up/down. Hmmmmm. Think about it.
Now back to your comparison issues. Had Zimmerman abducted, raped, and murdered Martin, then your analogy would hold some water. Problem is, he did none of those things (killing in self defense is not murder). That scenario could not be further from what folks like Michael Burns (a retired cop?) are suggesting. Your choice to resort to comparing this to child abduction and rape is quite disgusting and juvenile, and it smacks of immaturity after the case didn't conclude the way you wanted it to.
The way you describe the incident, you clearly must have both been present at the scene and privy to Zimmerman's exact thoughts and intentions. Otherwise, what you say is pure, far-reaching speculation that stretches above and beyond the scenario that trained attorneys at law could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, yet you assert them as if they're common knowledge facts.
You're clearly very passionate about what you believe, but you're never going to make any progress when your arguments overwhelmingly contain more speculation and less fact.
This was an unfortunate incident that could have been avoided had either parties acted differently. It was not a murder; you'll never convince anyone it was.