By Brandie Piper and Aja J. Williams
Published Aug. 18, 2014 on USAToday.com.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Louis NAACP condemned the use of Missouri National Guard to bring peace and stability to unrest in Ferguson after a police shooting of an unarmed teen.
The organization compiled a list of demands early Monday morning and conducted a community meeting addressing the group’s concerns about the violence following the death of Michael Brown, who was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.
Adolphus M. Pruitt, first vice president of Missouri State Conference of Branches and president of the St. Louis NAACP, said that the NAACP is concerned for the safety of young black men coming face to face with armed military. He said that Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson, who was tasked Thursday with Ferguson security by Gov. Jay Nixon, should be given more time to adjust.
Pruitt also called on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation to look at racial profiling throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, including the Metro East region located across the Mississippi River in Illinois.
He called for resources to help businesses hit hard financially by the unrest in Ferguson, and social services for families who have been unable to leave their homes in the Canfield Apartments, where the shooting occurred.
Earlier in the morning, the St. Louis County NAACP requested a formal apology for Brown’s family and asked for:
• The Justice Department to take over the entire Brown investigation.
• The creation of citizen review boards for all municipal police departments to ensure transparency.
• A state investigation into each municipal police department in St. Louis County with histories of racial profiling and police brutality.
• The implementation of racial profile training for St. Louis County police officers.
• Periodic attorney general reports about racial profiling.
“We want the individuals that may appear to have a private agenda to cause disruption and chaos within the community to stop,” said Esther Haywood, president of the St. Louis County NAACP. “We do not want peaceful protesters to appear that they are causing violence and rioting when incidents are being caused by a small group of individuals that are using this tragedy as an opportunity.”