NAACP officials present petitions to Louisiana Governor

September 17 , 2007

Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Lake Charles tossed out the aggravated battery conviction of Mychal Bell Friday afternoon.

Notwithstanding that, the NAACP remains committed to the defense of the young men to ensure proper treatment by the court system and protection of their rights under law.

As such, NAACP Interim President & CEO Dennis Courtland Hayes, the Louisiana State Conference of NAACP Branches, members of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, the RainbowPUSH Coalition, the National Action Network will still participate in a rally and march in Jena on Thursday, Sept. 20.  

To address the broader issues of eradicating racial disparities in the American criminal justice system and public schools, the NAACP will host a town hall meeting titled Restoring the Human Right to Education: Abolishing the School to Prison Pipeline" at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Alexandria, La. at 7 p.m. Sept. 20, as part of the Louisiana State Conference of NAACP Branches’ 65th annual convention.

Due to a schedule change, NAACP officials presented petitions to Louisiana Gov. Kathleen B. Blanco earlier today at the State Capitol. The more than 60,000 signatures are a symbol of those concerned with the unequal treatment of the defendants and the disturbing climate that led to an escalation of racial tensions in the southern town.

The NAACP encourages those who cannot travel to Jena to show their solidarity for the cause by donating via the NAACP’s website, signing the online petitions there, holding prayer vigils, a moment of silence or join in the activities by viewing the rally live via streaming video—details of which can be found at: www.naacp.org.

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