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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The families of late members of the wrongly convicted group known as the Wilmington 10 say they should be treated like the surviving members and receive payments from North Carolina because their relatives were imprisoned in the 1970s.

Six have been awarded compensation totaling $1 million by the state Industrial Commission. But the state Attorney General’s Office says family members of the other four do not meet compensation qualifications. The Insider news service reported Thursday that lawyers for four families argued they should not be treated differently.

In 2012, then-Gov. Bev Perdue pardoned the Wilmington 10, who were imprisoned for the 1971 firebombing of a grocery store. Their sentences were commuted in 1978.

State law allows $50,000 payments for each year someone pardoned was wrongly imprisoned, capped at $750,000.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • Rick Wilson

    I wish all of the news agencies reporting this story would do a complete job. Research the lives of these “victims”, report their criminal records after the so called injustice. What Gov. Purdue did was cave in to people willing to forget the past. A pardon does not equal innocence, it just means they were lucky enough to find someone with the power that was willing to sell her soul so a few could celebrate getting over on the system once again. As usual, the true victims, those murdered and terrorized by these people are forgotten. The DA’s, police, and firefighters are the villains……..the next time anyone that fought for the Wilmington 10 are in trouble or need a helping hand, see who responds. The only hand you will get from them is one held out demanding more for itself. Congratulations, the message sent here is if you wait long enough, cry loud enough, distort the facts enough, and recruit people too lazy to research the truth to believe your lies……..you can rewrite history and make the tax payers, your victims, pay you reparations for being a criminal. I guess the gangs that are terrorizing the area now will be considered heroes in 20 or 30 years. How much will they demand in payment?

  • KC

    I will quit the Democrat Party if Chavis is appointed. What’s with it these days that we feel we must elevate people just because they are recognizable for radical ideas, no matter how and what side they happen to fall on? Where are people who have a good education and know what they’re doing without past baggage? Guess I won’t be voting at all anymore either ’cause I don’t like radicalism on the other side of the coin either.

  • Rick Wilson

    Ben Chavis was removed as head of the NAACP because of embezzlement. He should have went back to prison for this……..Seems the NAACP gave him a pardon also…….I wonder why? If the Democratic Party puts him in charge of anything……they will get what they deserve. With Ben in charge, everyone should feel happy and secure about their donations to the party…….

  • Guest2020

    I see you have bought into the modern propaganda of the 1898 riots. Try reading some pre-revisionist material to find out the truth about the 1898 riots and how the white people were treated. The official story that today’s “historians” and this city’s modern “leaders” have accepted is just plain wrong.

    And if you want to talk about a people who were wronged you should talk to the American Indians. They were held as slaves. They had their land taken from them. The federal government committed genocide against them.

    The Wilmington 10 are not innocent. They were proven guilty and let go because of a technicality. Perdue didn’t pardon them because they were innocent. It was an idiotic attempt at a political maneuver.

  • More Than A Conqueror

    Enlighten yourself (all races)…. You should hold your tongue if you have never experienced racism….you could never understand and should hold your comments African Americans share with your children, their goal should be to educate themselves and rise above the undercurrent that runs in this city and return to make a difference.

    I agree….you reap what you sew – even generations later

    Wilmington Race Riots of 1898 …. Many families (not African Americans) currently benefit from unjustly receiving property, harming and killing innocent families – they took over a city

    My great, great, great grandfather was a business owner. I am a descendent of 1898 and I look forward to a change is this city. Where it applies-Your ancestors were racist, greedy and unjust

    The first shall be last…. And in your words KC “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord”

  • Mike Duggan

    Your family is begging you to put down the crack pipe!

  • Guest2020

    It is plain to see how mindlessly ignorant some people can be. The Wilmington 10 weren’t wrongfully convicted. They were let go on a technicality. They weren’t pardoned because they were innocent. They were pardoned because the governor at the time was a mindless idiot who just wanted to score brownie points for the democratic party.

    Where is the pain and suffering compensation for the victims of the Wilmington 10? What can possibly be done to restore the lives of the Wilmington 10’s victims and their families? Nothing can be done, because you cannot raise the dead. The Wilmington 10 did not get what they deserved. The only thing unjust here is the fact that the Wilmington 10 didn’t get the same level of punishment that they inflicted on their victims.

  • KC

    In the bible it says, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord”. Mortals taking it into their own hands to wreak vengeance on innocent people who had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery, indeed, many whose people fought to free slaves and right the wrongs of racism, well…I’ll leave it in the hands of the Lord God Almighty to decide their fate and that of those still living.

  • dreka

    Its plan to see most of these comments are coming from ignorant racies people who still manage to be alive to have the ardasity to fix your mouth and say these 10 families shouldnt be compasated wouldnt be surprise if you or your family member set that store on fire and your family keep it hush hush. See unjust dont prosper and what ever the white man tried to crumble God just binded it at awared these 10 people what they deserve so if they are not here to collect their families should be entitled the pain and suffering that their parents or sibilings went threw. Plan and simple

  • KC

    Sherman’s March to the Sea. The men in the Union Army walked all the way from and back to their northern homes. if they made it, in all kinds of conditions, because of their conviction that slavery was wrong. I do not subscribe to the modern idea put out by some that the Civil War was only to preserve the financial status of the Union. I have read my gg grandfather’s diary which details his thoughts and those of his fellow soldiers. I have a picture of him with a gaping scar from a cut across his face exacted by a Rebel sabre. When I moved south I got it from white friends for being a Yankee. What I could never understand was the Burn Baby Burn crowd’s absolute non-consideration of anything any white person ever did to reverse the status of African Americans in this country. Their credo, “We will wreak havoc on you no matter.” This solved nothing, just entrenched people deeper into racial stances that still exist today because we could not come to accord. In spite of this, some people did decide to be nicer to each other, and ever so slowly, in spite of all the stubborness, we have come a long way. Yes, “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.” It is not ours as mortals to exact.

  • Guest, Just another

    Using their argument, shouldn’t it be any descendant that has received support from the state?

    This is pathetic. Money grubbing at its finest. Bet they were on top of the list for “reparations” also.

  • County Social Worker

    Agree 100%…if these “family” members feel they are entitled to some sort of financial compensation….let EACH one of them asking for it be required to disclose if they have recieved ANY funds from State assistance…food stamps….AFDC…Section 8 housing….why should MY TAX DOLLARS be used to support this?? These individuals did NOT directly suffer….indirectly maybe…somewhere along the way….Bev Purdue should have a foot up her bottom for opening this can of worms…to those who claim that they are “suffering” …I ask …are you “REALLY”….how were you living before this free money idea came along?? Who paid your bills before this idea started? Its all about a dollar…or in this case…lots of dollars….NONE of you should be allowed a single dime!! NOT ONE!!

  • deputy25

    and if any of these surviving relatives ever received any “taxpayer” funds for welfare/ food stamps etc, then if any money is awarded to them, then the taxpayers funds should be deducted and given back to the taxpayers!!

  • Guest2020

    They weren’t wrongly convicted. They got off on a technicality. There is a difference. There should be no compensation for these thugs or their relatives.

  • Keysha

    It may be there children… so In my opinion THE $ NEED TO GET TO family. WILMINGTON 10 DESERVE EVERY DIME

  • guest 2014

    Why do these people think that they deserve compensation for something that happened to their late relatives? I agree that if those people were wrongly imprisoned that their files cleared etc….but I still cannot place a dollar amount on what they are asking. I mean my brother got a ticket that he should not have got 5 years ago….but I don’t want to be reimbursed for it. I mean really?

  • Chester Moyle

    I think if they are given the money then they should have to pay reparations to people who were caused harm to by the rioting and shooting. Since they want to be paid when they did not have a dog in that fight then let them have the financial responsibility for their own relative’s actions.

  • Zane Emanuel

    What about the owner of Mike’s Grocery who lost everything and gave the property to the church next door.

  • patsy cline

    My mother was a nurse at NHRMC at that time. She had to drive from Ogden to work sometimes on graveyard. Some the stuff she incountered coming and going was very dangerous. Plus she was taking care of all those that were hurt that came to the er. Some nights she would come home with hospital greens on because her uniform was covered in blood. Back then you could only wear white dresses. We were worried that she may have gotten caught up in some cross fire between the cops and the rioters coming home. She always made it home safe, but she would come home very troubled by what she had to go through. Plus I had an uncle that was shot and killed in his own store at the same time all this was going on over a pack of cigarettes.

  • lilgur

    Everyone in Wilmington was villified, why can’t we agree we all need compensation. Serioiusly. If it wasn’t this ’10’ then they know who the other ’10’ it was. Maybe it was all of them. I just get tired of reading the woe be gones.

  • KC

    If these people’s relatives went to jail wrongfully, then somebody in the community let them do the time because a lot of people knew who was setting the fires, conducting sniper fire and rioting in downtown Wilmington. Forty years later you’d think it never happened, but some of us know differently as we had to go to work in the schools every day and listen to the insanity…like the time we were told by students the NHC administration building was going to be burned down. We tried to tell ’em but they wouldn’t listen. Like clockwork there it was on the 11 o’clock news completely engulfed in flames. What I want to know is, where can those of us who were threatened and intimidated in the halls and classrooms of the schools, who braved bricks being tossed through our windows and drove to and fro through sniper fire, get a lawyer to sue these somebodies for the pain and suffering we endured day after day not knowing if we’d make it home alive?

  • curby

    what about the National Guard taken away from their families those three bitter winter nights standing guard at the foot of the bridges entering Wilmington and sleeping on the concrete floors at the Armory

  • lilgur

    how in the world can anyone who was here during that time, justify this blatant act of greed for crimes that were committed. I don’t care if they were pardoned by the President. I know this happened. My relative was there, I want compensation for him having to put his life in the line of fire from what this group did. Dig???

  • Diayesan

    Every stereotype starts with a kernel of truth. You just reinforced several. I wonder if you’re not just a muckraker?

  • kzpony

    These people do not “deserve” anything! I remember when all this happened. I was a young girl and scared to death. Wilmington people were held hostage in our homes by fear and the curfew imposed to keep us home and safe from this riotous time which was led by these people. It was terrifying. If anything, the Wilmington 10 owes the good citizens of Wilmington money for the terror and damage they caused. They weren’t proven to be innocent of these crimes…they were proven guilty in a court of law and a technicality allowed to be freed despite their guilt. We do not owe them or their offspring anything.

    And I would be amiss if I didn’t tell you that your post does not impress anyone. Go back to school, learn to write a proper sentence and get a job. There is a location. Their belongs to them. Simple, really.


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