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Dau Mabil Family
Press Statement April 19, 2024

NAACP Calls for DOJ Investigation into Suspicious Death of Mississippi Black Man

Dau Mabil Family

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2024 

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, amercedes@naacpnet.org 

 

WASHINGTON - Today, the NAACP sent a letter to the Department of Justice urging an investigation into the suspicious death of 37 year-old Jackson, Mississippi resident, Dau Mabil. The letter echoes previous requests from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) urging Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Kristine Clarke, to open an investigation into Dau's mysterious disappearance.

NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson released the following statement:

"Today, the NAACP stands with the Mabil family and the broader Jackson community in mourning the loss of Dau Mabil. It is our hope that the recovery of Dau's body will allow his family to grieve while we fight for justice. Dau's life mattered, and everything must be done to ensure that his tragic death receives the investigative due diligence it deserves. It is unacceptable that for weeks, the Mississippi Capitol Police havefailed to follow the basic fact patterns while delaying the course of justice. We are disgusted, but not surprised. This is not the first time that Capitol police have neglected the Black Jacksonians they supposedly serve.

The NAACP is not backing down from this fight. We call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act swiftly and put us on a path toward justice for this tragic loss of life. Dau, his family, and our community deserve action, transparency, and accountability."

A copy of the letter sent to the Department of Justice can be found here. Excerpts include:

"... I write to request that the Department of Justice open an investigation into the disappearance and death of Dau Garang Mabil of Jackson, Mississippi."

"The NAACP has a longstanding commitment to holding law enforcement accountable…"

"… there appears to have been a concerning amount of irregularities associated with the Capitol Police's investigation."

"Today, our hearts are with the family of Dau Mabil as we grieve the loss of another Black life lost far too soon. Black Jacksonians are under attack from a racist political landscape while being occupied by outside forces who rule over, but fail to protect, or invest in our community,"said Nsombi Lambright, President, Jackson Branch of the NAACP. "We demand action and answers. In the wake of neglect from the Capitol police force, it is imperative that our local and federal law enforcement deliver justice for Dau. Enough is enough. The Jackson branch of the NAACP remains committed to shedding light on injustice and working to prevent tragedies like this one." 

On March 25, 2024, Dau Mabil was reported missing by his wife, Karissa Bowley, who had last seen him at noon. The case was assigned to the Capitol Police as the residence fell within their jurisdiction of Jackson, which was recently expanded by controversial legislation, HB 1020. 

Over the course of the following two weeks, the Jackson Police Department, and State Capitol Police ran two parallel investigations, with Capitol police leading on the case due to recently expanded jurisdiction as a result of anti-Democratic legislation passed in 2023. 

Throughout the course of their investigation, Capitol police repeatedly failed to follow standard operating procedures that would have supported a more expeditious progression of the case. Although a body was found in the Pearl River on Saturday, April 13, Dau Mabil's brother was not brought in for DNA testing until April 15, nor had he been allowed to view the body as of Thursday, April 18. 

On April 18, following the Sheriff's public announcement and confirmation of Dau's death, the NAACP sent a letter to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation into the disappearance and death of Dau Mabil to ensure that any failure by the Capitol Police to swiftly and thoroughly investigate this matter does not deprive Mr. Mabil's family and his community of the answers and the justice they deserve.

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About NAACP

The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund â€" also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

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