N.A.A.C.P. uses march, rally to make justice inequality claims
The crowd was likely disappointing but the message was strong, according to those who attended a justice march and rally Saturday.
One of their contentions is that a man accused of capital murder has been jailed nine years awaiting trial. Kharon Davis is accused in the death of Pete Reeves who was shot to death in a Dothan townhome community. Prosecutors say robbery was the motive.
“The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to a fair and speedy trial,” said state N.A.A.C.P. president Bernard Simelton.
Court records show there have been multiple delays in the legal process. Some, but not all of them, were instigated by Davis who has used several attorneys.
His mother, Chrycynthia, told a crowd her son has been unfairly disciplined by personnel at the Houston County Jail and spends 23 hours each day in a small cell. She said he has suffered from ineffective counsel. Davis also said she is not allowed to visit her son.
Simelton contends the issues in Dothan go far beyond the Davis case. He alleges that people are being mistreated—even beaten---by police officers.
A series of protests has been held since news blogger Jon Carroll authored articles in December alleging that drugs were systematically planted by officers on young, black men about 20 years ago.
City commissioners and the police chief say the allegations are without foundation and no specific cases with validity have been made. Simelton theorizes that’s because victims of police brutality are afraid to come forward.
Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish has repeatedly invited anyone with evidence of police wrongdoing to contact the department. He also sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation calling for an inquiry.
” I respectfully request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct a FULL investigation into Mr. Carroll’s allegations or any allegation of impropriety, illegal conduct or maleficence by any president or former member of the agency. We will provide FULL disclosure to include any personnel records to assist you in the investigation,” Parrish wrote. The letter was obtained by WTVY/WRGX.
A group of officers, not related to the Dothan allegations, but named by Carroll in a previous article regarding a murder investigation filed a lawsuit against the blogger claiming defamation.
Carroll has since shut down his website citing his desire to pursue other interests.
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