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!