October 2, 2009

NAACP Shows No Cojones in Florida Taser Killing of Derrick Humbert

I truly want to give the NAACP the benefit of the doubt. I want them to be relevant at the national level and in each of their local branches around the country. However, the response of the NAACP Manatee County branch regarding the recent taser-killing down in Bradenton (FL) is very disappointing.

The NAACP issued a statement Thursday night:
The branch looks forward to reviewing the results of the autopsy report so that we can make a well-informed decision on whether there was foul play or excessive force made by the arresting officer.”
A Black man is riding his bicycle at night. He is pulled over by Officer Del Shiflett because his bicycle doesn't have a light. In less than an hour, the Black man, Derrick Humbert, is dead. Humbert is the 41st person involved in a taser-related death this year. Over 40% of those taser killings involve a Black man.

In a telephone interview with a local newspaper, Manatee County NAACP President Ed Bailey, said,
From what I understand, he was Tasered to be apprehended, and shorty after, he suffered from a medical condition that caused his death. Right now, we feel that’s something we don’t need to act on. If the autopsy doesn’t concur with the statement the police are making, then we will be looking into it further. Right now, we trust what the officers are saying is true.”
The police department has already exonerated Officer Shiflett ... saying that the killing of Humbert with the taser was within police department policy. And now the NAACP is co-signing that conclusion with a mealy-mouthed statement about "a medical condition that caused his death" and "we trust what the officers are saying is true."

Even President Ronald Reagan knew that you had to VERIFY if you were going to trust. That sage advice seems to be more than NAACP leaders in Manatee County can handle at this point.

On the other hand, the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference chapter accused Shifflet of using excessive force, and said it would be closely monitoring the investigation of Humbert’s death.

No wonder Ed Bailey's NAACP branch is losing members to the newly-formed SCLC chapter.

Perhaps NAACP national president Ben Jealous or some of the more progressive NAACP Branch members can give a call to the cojone-challenged Ed Bailey and let him know what the Black community expects from our leadership. If you are not going to protect our interests ... then just SHUT UP!


Anonymous said...

You know, I forgot for a minute that the NAACP even existed. Perhaps it is relaxing and reminiscing in the glory of former days. Because they currently seem to be irelevant. At this rate all black men are a potential victim and not just the unlawful. A brother could be walking to his car from corporate headquarters and get tasered by a serial killer in a blue uniform. This problem needs a strong VOICE. Where are the Martins and Malcolms of the 21st Century? OUR BLACK MEN ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Righteous Choices - I think that 'We are Martin and Malcolm' in the 21st century. You and I have a blog ... we need to get the word out to our blog readers. 'We are Martin and Malcolm'...

Anonymous said...

You know Villager, you are absolutely right! Even from the confines of an office we have the potential to reach millions with this taser issue and any other. I did not equate the left click of my mouse with the reach and magnitude of a Martin or Malcom. With the network of socially aware black bloggers, that exists in cyberspace,the entire globe could hear our roar. OMG! How small was I thinking!! Thanks Villager