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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber says he believes street justice is overtaking courtroom justice in Wilmington. Now the civil rights group is calling for change.

During a news conference today, Barber called for the state to investigate recent officer-involved shootings in New Hanover County that killed three people. This morning he took his concerns to local leaders.

Barber came to the port city tuesday to deliver a letter calling for immediate action regarding what he calls “excessive force” by officers.

“The NAACP is concerned with the pattern of street justice rather than courthouse justice that emerges from the study of these four cases,” Barber said.

District Attorney Ben David says there is a problem with street justice in Wilmington, but in a different way.

“In the sense that there are young men shooting and killing each other and then failing to report it when we are asking them the questions on who is doing it. They are engaging in what we call stop snitching culture,” David said. “I don’t believe that is happing with the police taking the law into their own hands.”

Barber specifically mentioned the shooting death of Brandon Smith, who was wanted for shooting a deputy. The SBI’s investigation into the October shooting by two New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies and an ATF agent led the District Attorney to decide the shooting was justified and no criminal charges should be filed.

Barber did not want to answer specific questions about each case or the months of gang violence that have plagued Wilmington. He did say the NAACP is concerned officers are becoming “judge, jury and executioner.”

“We appreciate the NAACP’s interest and concern of the recent officer involved shootings involving multiple agencies in the region in response to increased gang violence,” Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a statement. “We will continue to use every available resource to provide transparency, truthfulness and quality investigations for the Wilmington Police Department and the citizens of Wilmington.

“We welcome the opportunity to speak with the NAACP and those interested in the wellbeing of our community. We further solicit their support and input on reducing the black-on-black crime in our community that has led to the incarceration and victimization of a growing number of citizens in the City of Wilmington.”

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon also said in a statement, “I have always requested that the SBI investigate any officer-involved shooting. Chief Evangelous and I are committed to share resources and work together to provide a safer community.”

The NAACP wants the public release of police reports regarding these incidents. They also want an independent citizens’ police review board, as well as a meeting with the DA, mayor and police chief to talk about some of the organization’s concerns.

Comment on this Story

  • Andrea

    Tracie, I am not a racist. The reason why I said what I said to clarify that the man was stupid and wrong for shooting at a police officer. Of course he and anyone will suffer the consequences for shooting at a police officer. Second, if you read the racist remarks about the NAACP you will understand. Third there are White people in the NAACP. The next time they have a meeting in the New Hanover Chapter, join and sign up. As a black person yes I agree with the police for shooting the person and the people. It’s the same in the military, kill or be killed. Maybe I should have clarified my statement clearer.

  • Fire the DA’s

    Justamatteroftime…..that’s a bumper sticker there.

    If the NAACP people took as much effort into helping the black communities instead of trying to destroy the white communities their lifes would be so much better! The life of a black man or woman is only worth something to the NCAAP if they are killed or hurt by the “white man”

  • Another one

    The organization’s main focus is – as they themselves say it – “people of african descent”

    If you look at pictures of their events on their page, there are not a whole lot of people other than those likely of african descent.

    Then, they have events involving awards that specifically exclude other races.

    All in all, with their current rant, the NAACP are targeting the wrong people. The police are not targeting any specific race. They are targeting people who have committed crimes against other people – pure and simple. The NAACP should look at helping prevent these situations from happening.

  • Not I

    No way two different people could write the same list of words that might some day comprise a sentence.

  • guest123123

    “honestly white people do you think you can be.black and.live as a slaveNO u cant u couldn’t even be.black for one day..”

    Last i checked, salvary ended in the 1800’s, so im pretty sure you havent lived as a slave either. Don’t make the color of your skin a excuse, you make your own choices.

  • BD

    Emphasis should be concentrated on the reduction of crime! Police cant shoot “criminals” if they don’t exist. The police aren’t out hunting…THEY ARE RESPONDING TO VIOLENT CRIMES perpetrated by VIOLENT CRIMINALS, the majority of whom have VIOLENT CRIMINAL HISTORY!!!

  • heyguys

    I would like more information on were the NAACP gets their money from. Also, why they are not out trying to help their people to stop the black on black killing that is happening more and more. They should be trying to help the police and stop their always faulting them for what they do.

    NAACP there is a ride along program with all the police dept. Please get you butt in a car and see what crap they put up with. Maybe, they will run across someone with a gun and you can flash you NAACP card and see if that will stop them from shoting.

  • Tracie C

    Carrie, just a little piece of advice: it’s PROOOOOBABLY not a good idea to try to call out racist behavior while at the same time loading your post with nothing but racial separation. (i.e. “white people, black people”).
    And just an FYI, if it was my kid robbing Pizza Hut or knowingly running from the cops while his name was ALL OVER the news for supposedly shooting a cop, I’d be the FIRST one turning him in. If they got shot I would have to assume either they’d be dead…or they’d FINALLY smarten up.
    Then again, my kids know how to be individuals, not some gang banging little “followers”. My kids know I’d turn them in in a heartbeat. Too bad Brandon Smith’s family didn’t think about his kids a little harder, he may still be alive today if someone had just TURNED HIM IN.

  • Citizen28451

    Talk about racist? Sit back and look at it from a REALIST perspective. The NAACP hoots and hollers when something goes down against a black person but Heaven forbid, it’s okay to diliberately order Chinese delivery, rob and murder the man and EAT the food. It’s okay to start gangs and deal drugs all over the community. It’s okay to have drive by shootings, shoot officers and all of that non-sense. But wait…we have to put blame on someone else. Might as well call our Reverend to defend us. Seriously? How about get a real reverend, raise your children right, lead by example and teach them morals and respect. Only then can things start to change!

    It STARTS IN THE HOME and unless your Reverened and racist NAACP group is in your home teaching upbrings the right way, they aren’t going to serve you a bit of justice.

  • United.. Just name a time and place and I would be honored to be there. I mean that. This could be the first step for really cleaning up this city. It’s a great idea.

  • Tracie C

    Kid, you find me a way to ACTUALLY be black for a day and I’ll live it. As a matter of fact, I’ll come and live in your slave shoes okay?
    What? You don’t live on a plantation here in the “good ole” southern US of A?
    What? You have NEVER had to put up with what the slaves actually had to put up with?
    How DARE YOU compare yourself (or any modern day black person) to a slave!!!
    You are no better than any racist white trash. You understand that right?
    You do know that the color of your skin doesn’t make you any less of a human being than the rest of us correct? Obviously, you don’t.
    Obviously you like living in your self induced “oppression”?
    Just like I tell any racist idiot: get over it. Get over it and live your life.
    Live your life of FREEDOM while you ask yourself: I wonder how an ACTUAL slave would like having my life right now? Ask yourself that while you wait for your XBox to warm up tonight okay?

  • Lisa’s Two Cents

    The State did, and is, investigating these cases, through the SBI. Which is procedure throughout the state, to have a agency, independent, and over the Law Enforcement agency, investigate.

    You can bombard this guy with the facts. These officers will never be “cleared” in this so-called “Reverend’s” hate-filled mind.

  • guestnow

    Hmm if the guys from pizza was running towards the.officers why were there multiple of gun shot in the.back of their heads somebody lying to cover up…how ..i say let the officers take a lie detector test YEAHHHH.But it wont happen if they are telling the truth then it shouldnt be a problem…honestly white people do you think you can be.black and.live as a slaveNO u cant u couldn’t even be.black for one day..

  • Guest2020

    Brandon Smith shouldn’t have shot a police officer. If not for that then the police would not have been after him. When the police were behind the car that Smith was in, he should not have run. If not for that then the police would not have been after him. Once they caught up with him, he should have complied with their lawful commands rather than reach for something that could have been a gun. If not for that then the police would not have needed to shoot him.

    Brandon Smith cannot tell his side of the story because his own actions led to his death. When Smith reached for something instead of complying with the officers’ lawful commands, the officers had a split second decision to make as to whether or not their lives were in danger. And since Smith had already shot one officer, they were erring on the side of caution because if he had been reaching for a gun, then one of them might be dead instead of the criminal.

  • Guest Vader

    The only investigation that needs to be done is why are there so many out of control black thugs in Wilmington?

  • GuestUSMC

    They were running toward the cops, but had bullet holes in the backs of their heads……….had not heard this, but, who cares?

  • United citizens

    Let the CITIZENS of Wilmington/New Hanover County unite together and send the NAACP a message by showing our support in numbers for the great job LEO has been doing and that gangs and violence will not be tolerated in this community any longer. Let us concerned citizens hold our own rally, news conference at city hall!!!

  • Gramps1945

    Funny, I didn’t hear the “Reverend” say one word about the Chinese delivery man, the white CFCC student, nor the deputy, who was shot. He talked about a drug dealer, and armed robbers. Who refused to surrender, when given the chance. Then chose to put other people, and the police, in a life threatening situation.

    I believe the NAACP, and this so-called “Reverend”, are the “racists”.

  • deputy25

    you dont see these JOKERS when the Asian delivery man got killed by 5 blacks and then they eat the food. or when the boy got shot and killed last year while walking down the street, they stole his sandwich too! where was ole BARBER at then?????? you blacks aint nuthin but a bunch of haters yourselves . not around when black kills a black or black kills a white, but just only when a white kills a black. people are sick and tired of your crap stirring. I remember the DUKE LaCrosse case where all you blacks could do is blame the white men, when the black girls lied and the D .A. knew it and then all you looked like a bunch of dummies.

  • guest18976

    Do you know what periods are? Have you ever been to school? When you write like a complete buffoon, you immediately lose credibility and look like an uneducated idiot. Listen, if I was accused of shooting a cop, the last thing I would do is run into the woods. If I was innocent, I would simply turn myself in, and if I felt scared, I would do it with numerous witnesses around. Simple common sense. And the three morons who robbed the Pizza Hut unfortunately got what they deserved. Carrie, here’s some very important information that will serve you well over the course of your life. When you enter someone’s property (includes house, restaurant, etc.), brandish a weapon, and proceed to rob, then you are giving everyone (police, customers, property owners, etc.) the permission to legally kill you. If you really believe that Wilmington is full of white racists who enjoy killing black people, why would you make it easier for them and give them legal permission to do so?

  • 11221

    If the NAACP were for all, then where were they last year in a highly publicized case involving a white high school student in the Northern Virginia area that was attacked and nearly beat to death on a bus?? Oh wait, nevermind he was attacked by 5 black males! Why would the NAACP get involved with that? If the roles were reversed the NAACP would have been all over it and you know that’s the truth. You my dear have your head buried in the sand. The NAACP is one of the most racist organizations around.

  • Tracie C

    “Everyone in Wilmington need to stop this racist crap”.
    Yes, Andrea, EVERYONE….including you.
    NO MORE: “white haters”
    NO MORE: “black citizens” “white citizens”
    NO MORE: clarifying your race in a post (see – you are a human being – JUST LIKE the rest of us – there is no need to tell us what color your skin is – why do you feel the need to separate yourself?).
    I, for one, am extremely tired. Tired of the racist b/s when it’s CRIMINALS we’re talking about. Last I checked, the color of your skin does NOT exempt you from deciding to commit a crime.
    The only thing keeping racism alive?
    Why, idiots of course.
    Let’s not lower ourselves to keep it alive anymore.
    You want to preach against racism? Great. But don’t do it using thinly veiled attempts at the same thing your griping against.
    Simply, don’t be a racist.
    When and where are the “citizens committee” sign ups the NAACP is demanding? I REALLY want to sign my name on that dotted line. I’ve got some “straight up realist” for you.

  • Guest Reply Redux


    Maybe then it should be…NAAAP (3rd “A” meaning…”ALL”)

  • Portcity

    I believe NAACP = National Association for the Advancement of “COLORED” People. Just like they said if the last two words were “White People” or if a White Entertainment Television (WET) TV channel was created you would call Racism.It’s Like the pot calling the kettle black, Makes no sense!!

  • Andrea75

    I am a Black woman and I want to clarify something. The NAACP is not only for Blacks, so you white haters get your information straight. The NAACP is for ALL people now. As far as the person said about establishing a NAAWP you’re as ignorant as the racists that are breathing and personally you don’t deserve to breathe at all. I’m a straight up realist and everyone knows if you attempt to pull out a weapon to kill a policeman you will be shot. The men were indeed wrong trying to break bad and shoot a cop knowing they will pull out their gun and shoot first. That is the stupidity in them. Everyone in Wilmington need to stop this racist crap and come to a solution to prevent crime in these streets. Black citizens are tired of it and you White citizens should be, too.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    Ignore the NAACP…ignore the news media coverage…ignore the whole kit and caboodle…or they will have you folks right where you want them to.
    You will be a whole lot better off ignoring them like you would a cat licking its A**!!! Do this…and watch how quickly the dust settles around folks fighting for the rights of criminals because of color.
    And you all know it too!

  • carrie

    As i look on here it seems like alot of the negative comments are coming from alot of white people the only people that are making comments racial comments are youl brandon smith was suppose to be the person that shot the cop where is the proof where is the gun alot of you people need to state some facts before you speak this just let you no that alot of you white people still feel some type of way towards black people and the things that come out your mouths are ridiculous he was a unarmed man accused of shooting a officer that never got a chance to tell his side of the story then you up here bad mouthing the naacp for what some of you need to grow up and check yourself you will all have your day to be judge what if it was someone of your family how would you feel those young men at pizza hut nrver had a chance either this whole police force and some of you can go straight to hell

  • wondering

    What does the NAACP do when it’s a case of black killing black? That happens many many times!!!!!!!!

  • Jade

    You say that Brandon Smith “never got a chance to tell his side of the story”. Oh really? All he had to do was turn himself in and he would have had his day in court. Oh and you also mention “what if it was someone of your family?”. Well I remember as a boy, my mom found something I had shoplifted which she knew I couldn’t have afforded. When I finally confessed she turned me in to the police. So instead of making excuses for all these “good boys” why not accept that they paid the price for the own poor decisions.

  • howedy

    Blacks are MORE racist than whites!! It’s not the “whites” faults that the “blacks” are the ones doing the crimes…come on people! Black OR White people should BOTH be held accountable…the NAACP needs to be doing more in the “black” communities to help stop the crimes BEFORE they happen, not just defend them after!!

  • 8844

    Anyone ever notice that NAACP President Rev. William Barber, II doesn’t seem to miss too many meals? Being a professional racial opportunist must pay pretty well.

    Looks like it’s time to shake things up a bit and get some more money coming in. If this were about anything more than that, don’t you think that at least something, quite frankly anything, concerning black on black gang violence or other criminal activities would be mentioned by Barber in his little news conference?

  • YEA

    Yea make sure you put away your bling and flashy watch first!!

  • anonymous

    What is wrong with the NAACP?! One minute police are not doing enough and the next they are doing too much?! It is a known fact and need to be a fear of all people black, white, purple or blue that if you use violence against an officer or the public you will be met with the same amount of force if not more so. These officers also have families they want to go home to at the end of their shift. But they are putting their lives on the line to protect a community that hates them. Police yourselves then! Stop calling 911 and let the bullets fly! I’m sure when one of the members of the NAACP are murdered or a family member or friend they will say the police didn’t do enough. Get off your soap box and do it your damn selves!

  • Nightmare

    Many law abiding tax paying citizens are tired of these losers getting protected by the racist losers of the NAACP.
    I don’t understand why eliminating scum from the streets is a bad thing.

    I felt worse for having to spray a wasps nest yesterday, than I feel about those parasites being sprayed by bullets from WPD or the sheriffs office. I feel like they still haven’t used enough force yet! IMO
    And by the way at least a wasp builds his own house and takes care of his babies. It’s pretty bad that an insect is more productive to the world and a better role model, than some humans!

  • Go Figure

    This is a perfect example of racism and pointing fingers and putting the blame on someone else.

    Maybe if the NAACP would get involved and help clean the community up and get involved in a positive way in teaching these parents how to RAISE their children and break the cycle, we wouldn’t have these problems.

  • Hey

    Hey NAACP. Check out the Hilton and spend a few nights sleeping in Creekwood while your in town!!!!

  • GuestMan.

    The only thing missing are the sheets and hoods. There is an association like that and it is similar to the Aryan Nation, a notorious hate group that started in prisons.
    Do you really think that is a good idea?

  • Justamatteroftime

    Where were the NAACP when it was only black on black crime and shooting and when it was black on white/or asian crime?? No where to be seen or heard. Where were you during the “cease fire” and gun buy backs?? No where to be found. But as soon as the community takes a stand and it becomes white ob black crime there is a problem. Now you got the suits out and the shoes polished by the NAACP. If the NAACP people took as much effort into helping the black communities instead of trying to destroy the white communities their lifes would be so much better! The life of a black man or woman is only worth something to the NCAAP if they are killed or hurt by the “white man”. When and if this was only black on black or “thug on thug” violence it wouldn’t be worth the NCAAP saying nothing or suiting up to bad mouth the local white communities or law enforcment. NCAAP Do you country a favor and find real ways to help your black communities and let the Officers of the LAW do you job. We have giving these criminals plenty of chances to stop the violence and now its time to strike back with and force neccesary!!

  • PublicAvenger

    The SBI investigations are Standard Procedure, in shootouts, and certain high speed chases. Just like the recent NH County Sheriff’s, Use Of Force. In a few days from now, they will reveal, the officers acted correctly. We will also see that Chief Evangelous, just like Sheriff McMahon, is a strong, professional, leader. Who stands up for his people.

    Instead of attacking the Police, who are trying to fight the Gangs, Drugs, and Armed Robberies, he should attack the real reasons, in our community.
    – How we have hundreds of criminals, like Rashawn Hines, who terrorize, and do whatever they want, and get “slapped on the wrist”.
    – How we put $40 million into Creekwood, to pay teenage girls, to have as many babies, as they can. Out of wedlock.

    This is a good example, of why I have not, and do not, support the NAACP.

  • ilmc

    I know another .org just like that!! It’s called “Westboro Baptist Church”.


    damn good idea, I’m with you on that. Lol, only thing though the NAACP and blacks will call us racists. That’s the thing that sickens me.

    They have their congregations and black groups, yet if we have one we’re racists. How much you want to bet they will start screaming racism?

  • Guestthug

    If the cops will just back off a bit and let these criminals kill each other, then the rest of us can just get on with our non-criminal lives. I think residents of housing projects and gang neighborhoods should just get themselves some body armor and duck.
    Killahs gonna kill.

  • Why don’t the whites (including ME) form a group known as the NAAWP, and march in Wilmington to protest all black violence asserted on the white and law enforcement community. I’m being very serious. What is wrong with countering the NAACP? Why don’t we just DO IT! We are not the slave owners and we are not the oppressors so why not defend ourselves?

  • jab1234

    To the NAACP…why in times such as what Wilmington is experiencing now do you put blame on one individual or one agency. This is a community problem, involving all of our citizens of any ethnicity and gender. It does not and will not have anything to do with racism unless your organization tags it as that in the media. Instead of dramatizing these issues and glorifying them into “police excessive force on black males” within our community, look into where the violence is occurring and the individual involved. Get into the neighborhoods where this violence is occurring and mentor these kids and stop making excuses because of their race. It’s 2013 and its not about race anymore so get over it. You should unite with other local organization, including law enforcement to work within the predominantly black neighborhoods to mentor such kids. Don’t point fingers and blame….poor you and its law enforcements fault. The more you point fingers and blame, the more younger kids who look up to your organization will do the same and the cycle continues.

  • Rick Wilson

    Here comes the folks that profit from other peoples misery without contributing anything towards a solution. They just add to the problem, collect their money, and skip out of town until they see another opportunity to profit. They use false bravado, soundbites, and just plain old BS to achieve their goals……..These are the modern day “snakeoil” salesmen.

  • 5050

    The naacp has stayed out of this since all the combatants are black and the gang war would be an all black problem if normal innocent people didn’t get hurt from the gang’s spray and pray style of shooting. If it wasn’t for that, I would say let the cops back off and refuse to answer those calls until they finish each other off. I’m sure the naacp will step in between the warring factions and sing “we shall overcome”.

  • 1492

    You’re right, and both groups are wrong.

  • Sorry GuestMan….That’s not how I roll. But your conclusions are exactly what media and people who choose not to deal with the real issue would echo. You see, I’m tired of always being blamed for something I’ve never done. It’s old now. It was old 20 years ago. I believe we need to march to let folks know it’s not okay to use the same old trashy excuses anymore. It’s about personal responsibility. Mine and theirs.

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