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Wilmington 10 group to deliver more than 14,000 signatures, Saffo apology to governor


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington 10 member Willie Earl Vereen and a group of supporters, including many from Wilmington, will deliver more than 14,000 petition signatures requesting pardons of innocence for the Wilmington 10, to the governor's office in Raleigh today.

A member of the governor's staff is expected to be present to formally receive the petition names.

Organizers say the items delivered will include a video of Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo apologizing to the Wilmington 10 during a 2011 event at UNCW commemorating the 40th anniversary of the events, including the fire-bombing of a Wilmington grocery store, that led to the arrests of the group's members.

"The DVD is being included as powerful evidence that if the present-day Mayor of Wilmington can admit to the world that all of the Wilmington 10 were 'done a tremendous injustice by our judicial system,' before the now infamous racially-tinged files of Wilmington 10 prosecutor Jay Stroud were even discovered, then Mayor Saffo's opinion deserves to be carefully considered now, along with over 14,000 people from across this state and nation, as more reason why pardons of innocence should be granted to all of the Wilmington 10," Cash Michaels, coordinator of the Wilmington 10 Pardons of Innocence Project, said in a statement.

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