NAACP to hold meeting about alleged police misconduct, discrimination

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

EAST SPENCER — The Salisbury-Rowan NAACP will host a meeting July 24 to hear from East Spencer residents about alleged police misconduct and discriminatory town hiring practices.
“The allegations we’re getting are very serious, and they warrant our immediate attention,” said Scott Teamer, president of the local NAACP chapter.
The meeting will take place 6-8 p.m. at the organization’s 729 N. Long St. office. Teamer said NAACP members will show residents how to fill out and file official complaints, if they want to do so. NAACP attorneys, and possibly some state officials, will also attend.
After NAACP officials review the complaints, they will request a meeting with the town’s Board of Aldermen, Teamer said.
He stressed the meeting is open only to residents who want to make complaints, not to the general public.
East Spencer Mayor Barbara Mallett said she did receive a phone call from Teamer Tuesday morning about the upcoming meeting, but said she had no clue what it concerned until a Post reporter contacted her.
Mallett said neither she, nor the town staff, have received complaints, except one resident who had an issue she wanted town police to address.
The resident, Mallett said, spoke during public comments at a recent meeting about an incident at the corner of Long and Andrews streets. Police Chief Baxter Michael did not elaborate on the incident, but did say his department is investigating.
He added that he’d rather not comment because of a police investigation.
Mallett said she welcomes complaints or any comments from citizens.
She said comments and complaints is how the town staff and departments know how they are doing.
She invites residents submit any complaints to the town hall in written form so that they can be addressed and encourages residents to attend monthly board meetings.
Michael said he was not aware of a meeting and said none of the issues Teamer mentions had been brought to his attention.
“We’ve had no written complaints. This is the first I’ve heard,” he said.
Michael denies discrimination of any kind and also referred residents to submit a written complaint. A copy of complaints are given to Town Administrator Macon Sammons, the mayor and Chief Michael.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.