• 46°

Justice rally organizers to meet with city officials

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.comOrganizers of a Rally for Justice say they will meet with top city of Salisbury officials this morning to ask for justice for blacks.
John C. Barnette, the head of a civil rights organization based in Gastonia, said if city officials don’t act to satisfy their concerns, the next step could be direct action, including marches.
Barnette cited the Aug. 28 brawl at the La Bamba Club on Klumac Road where a black police officer was recorded on video hitting a black man and later choking a black woman. Off-duty police were on duty in the parking lot and dealt with a fight that spilled over inside the club where private security was unable to deal with the situation.
He called the video from La Bamba “very troubling,” saying that he has seen footage of the club incident that hasn’t been released to the public.
Barnette also cited an instance where he said a black employee of the city had been unfairly terminated.
He also announced plans to attend the funeral of Elbert Leon “Trey” Chambers III, Tuesday afternoon. Chambers was killed in a shooting last week. His brother, Bobby Chambers, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
He emphasized that he was not threatening the city in order to get Officer Kareem Puranda fired over the La Bamba incident, but he said if negotiations fail, the next step will be direct action.
Puranda has been placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of an SBI investigation of the incident and recordings.
As an example of the type of direct action his group might take, Barnette cited a march of 500 or more that he led in a South Carolina town.
Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said he will be attending the meeting today. Wilhelm said he is willing to listen and if something needs to be fixed, “if officers have acted inappropriately, I will do what I need to.”
Wilhelm added that he can’t make a judgment until the SBI investigation of the incident is completed.
During the press conference, Barnette also praised police, saying they have the toughest job in America, and called for a return to the days that police and communities interact.
He also pointed to the abundance of cell phones and the capability of recording “wrongful acts” by police.
“Police and grandma are scared of the young hip-hop generation,” he said.
The rally for justice will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Olen Bruner, pastor, said the doors will be open Thursday at 6 p.m. He noted that city officials have been invited to attend.
Barnette heads an organization called True Healing Under God, using the acronym THUG.
During a press conference Tuesday morning at the church, Barnette repeatedly referred to the impact Hip Hop music is having on kids, from wearing their pants below their hips to carrying guns.
Barnette cited an instance recently where he asked a young man who the vice president is. Barnette said the youngster had no idea who the the vice president was, yet was very up to date on the rapper 50 Cent and how much money such celebrities make.

Comments

Comments closed.

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds

Local

Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options

News

Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery

Nation/World

Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat

Local

Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods

Local

PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday

Education

Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked

Coronavirus

29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month