Thursday, November 5, 2009

NAACP Calls for a citizen's police review board

From the Illinois NAACP:

PRESS CONTACTS: Ms. Norma Joseph, President, Rockford NAACP, 815-670-9631

Attorney Don Jackson, President, Illinois State Conference NAACP 309-637-1010637-101009) 637-1010

Rockford, IL - In response to the fatal shooting of Mark Barmore at a church daycare center by Rockford Police on August 24, 2009, Rockford Branch NAACP calls on the Rockford City Council to establish a Citizen’s Police Review Board with subpoena power and the authority to recommend sanctions of an officer for misconduct.

“We want independent credible investigations into use force incidents and accountability for law enforcement officers’ actions,” explains Norma Joseph, President Rockford Branch NAACP.

Hundreds of supporters joined NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous Oct. 3, at Kingdom Authority Church, the site where unarmed Mark Barmore was killed in a shooting by Rockford police officers two months ago. The shooting took place in a church daycare, in full view of children at the center.

“The City of Rockford should also pay for grief counseling to be provided to the preschool children who witnessed the shooting, many of whom are exhibiting signs of post traumatic stress disorder,” Joseph says.

Those gathered for the rally also demanded justice for Barmore and legislation to create Federal use-of-force standards.

“The NAACP’s Washington Bureau has asked the US Department of Justice to launch a full criminal and “pattern and practice” investigation into the Rockford police force which has experienced a rash of police shootings in the past 10 years,” says Attorney Don Jackson, President, Illinois State Conference NAACP.

“In 2007 police used force in three incidents per day, and, in 2008 police used force in 2.6 incidents per day, and, in this same two year period police tasered someone in Rockford every single day. There have been 21 incidents that involve Rockford police officers using deadly force since 1992, nine were fatal,” Joseph says.

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