Supporting Families of the Missing and Murdered
WHEREAS, the NAACP was founded on preserving and honoring the value and dignity of all humanity; and in Eastern North Carolina nine African-American women and one African-American man have been found brutalized and murdered; and
WHEREAS, the lack of adequate law enforcement resources from the local, state and national levels were not expended early enough to identify and incarcerate the assailant(s); and
WHEREAS, national media failed to prioritize the fate of these nine murdered women and one male whose bodies were dumped in deserted stretches of forests, fields, swamps and river beds in Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, two African-American women are still missing in Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount, North Carolina who have connections to the ten murdered victims; and because the lifestyles of these victims were plagued by substance additions, dangerous lifestyles and poverty their stories have not received significant media coverage; and
WHEREAS, in 2009, along with the vocal pressure of President Andre Knight of the Rocky Mount branch of the NAACP, family members and community leaders a series of community events led a growing crescendo of local press coverage and community support; and
WHEREAS, in June, 2009, early in the investigation, the Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP was the first organization to call for a federal investigation into the complex case of a possible Serial Killer(s) and went on record stating that the lack of law enforcement, community resources and national media attention was due to the race and lifestyle of the victims; and
WHEREAS, in July, 2009, local law enforcement publically affirmed that the case of these victims was due to a Serial Killer(s); and
WHEREAS, in December, 2009, Rocky Mount NAACP Branch President Andre Knight, City Councilman Reuben Blackwell and community leaders worked with family members of the missing and murdered for form Parents and Relatives of the Missing and Murdered (PROMM) become primary advocates for the justice of their loved ones and to reclaim the lives of vulnerable individuals who still engage in tragic and dangerous lifestyles; and
WHEREAS, their motivation and advocacy moved North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue to send help to local law enforcement agencies; and over 100 National Guards troops were deployed to search for more bodies of any evidence of existing murder victims in miles and miles of forests, swamps and fields in Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount; and
WHEREAS, in March, 2010, the North Carolina State Conference of Branches President, the Rev. Dr. William Barber came to the aid and encouragement of the families and the community; and several hundred people attended a Sunday evening service to remember the slain women and man and to pray for the two missing women and for all the families who have been impacted by these tragedies; and
WHEREAS, in June, 2010, GQ Magazine published a story of the missing and murdered women thereby re-igniting media interest in the case; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP continues its commitment to ensure fair and safe law enforcement practices in all communities, including communities of color; and the NAACP is committed to protecting the rights of victims' families as well as the proper treatment and legal prosecution of the accused.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP does adopt at its annual convention in Kansas City, MO in July, 2010, this resolution to support the efforts of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP, and in particular, the Rocky, Mount, NC Branch of the NAACP, to encourage all law enforcement agencies involved invest whatever resources are necessary to solve the cases of these nine African-American women and one African American man; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP is an organization of compassion as well as justice, and it offers its full moral support to the families of these victims; and also petitions the State of North Carolina to ensure that all of the victims' families receive just and due compensation afforded to individuals by the State in matters as these; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to designate the unsolved and unresolved cases of the missing and murdered victims in Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County, North Carolina as high priority and move speedily and judiciously to gather evidence, identify and prosecute the perpetrator(s) and deliver full justice to the families of these women and man.