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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Members of the NAACP and Wilmington 10 rallied Tuesday night in support of pardons for the group, but one former police officer says there are questions that still need to be asked.

“It was wrong, and the right time to do right is right now,” said Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the NAACP’s State Conference.

One Wilmington 10 member, Connie Tindall, served five years in prison before his conviction was overturned.

“As bad as it is, it’s a good time, for at least now we’re beginning to get the recognition that we are due,” Tindall said.

However, one man says there is another side to the story. John Winecoff joined the Wilmington Police Department in May 1971, three months after the firebombing of Mike’s Grocery, which led to the Wilmington 10’s arrests. He feels the full story needs to be retold.

“I think that they did most of the violence,” Winecoff said. “I think right now they are after money and recognition. If these people didn’t do it, then who did?”

Tindall says there were people involved with the burning and shooting, but he was not one of them.

“I’m not a rat, so I don’t tell on anybody, but what I know I’ll go to the grave with,” Tindall said. “All I can say with all truth and sincerity is that it was not me.”

Supporters of the pardons say the state now has a chance to right their wrongs.

“The lies of injustice can’t destroy the truth the Wilmington 10 stood on,” Rev. Barber said. “Their memory is still here.”

The Wilmington 10 Pardons of Innocence Project hopes to collect 100,000 signatures on its petitions.

If granted pardons, each member could be compensated $50,000 for each year they spent in prison.

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7 Comments on "Wilmington 10 members, NAACP hold rally in support of pardons"

Old Man
2015 years 10 months ago

Where can we sign a petition OPPOSING a pardon for these cancers on society?

2015 years 10 months ago

Connie Tindall is exactly why people can’t get closure. “I’m no rat”, well in fact you are for not saying anything. This could be all cleared up and done but you covering what you know makes you just as guilty as those that did the deed. Shame on him and NAACP for supporting a “no snitch” cause!

2015 years 10 months ago


2015 years 10 months ago

Local Police should have been there and run all of them through the system to see how many had outstanding criminal warrants. That would have been more useful to the community than the meeting!

2015 years 10 months ago

“I’m not a rat, so I don’t tell on anybody, but what I know I’ll go to the grave with,” Tindall said. “All I can say with all truth and sincerity is that it was not me.”

What a load of crap. You and your other 9 idiots are due nothing. You are entitled to nothing. You took away the lives and work of many people. If you want “justice”, how about you DO tell what you know, be a rat. Show true justice for those that suffered. Otherwise you ARE just as guilty as those that were involved. One would think if you wanted to prove to the world how innocent you were this would have occurred to you and your group a little sooner.

This “I am not a rat” mentality is a cancer of society. A cancer perpetuated by people like you and the rest of your fools that think snitching is a dishonor. Being a robbing, destructive, murderous piece of human filth is a dishonor. Doing the right thing is not. I’m not sure where in history segments of society got that mixed up. People like you should be locked up for refusing to cooperate alone. Contempt of court, and that is not protected by the 5th Amendment.

What is true is that you and your other 9 were responsible for the destruction and lost lives during that time. You have had your 15 minutes of fame from a liberal media. But the world is a little sick of hearing how sorry we should feel for you.

I’m more interested in hearing from the store owners, widows, firemen, and policemen who were actually the victims, not 10 murderous criminals.

2015 years 10 months ago

Everybody knows the wilmington 10 are guilty as sin, the naacp is just trying to stir up trouble, as usual.

Charles Walters
2015 years 10 months ago

Retry them and throw them back in jail where they belong. They cause a riot, destroyed property,and killed people. They were not framed they were caught. Lock the animals back up and throw away the key.


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