NAACP Accuses Harnett Sheriff's Office Of Classism, Demands Feds Investigate

May 12, 2016

The Rev. William Barber is president of the North Carolina NAACP.
Credit NAACP /

The North Carolina NAACP says Harnett County Sheriff's Office targets poor, rural residents. Now, the organization is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice for a thorough investigation.

The DOJ is already looking into the killing of a man by a deputy intending to search a home without a warrant, and the possible mishandling of another murder investigation.

But state NAACP President Rev. William Barber says there are many more local cases that warrant a "Ferguson-style" federal investigation.

Barber says he expects the DOJ will find evidence of corruption.

"A gun and a badge, investigatory powers, the ability to serve warrants and take family members out of their homes, and the ability to be protected by the D.A. is too much power for a racist, a bigot, and somebody that looks down on people because they're poor."

The NAACP is basing its complaint on findings from a recent News & Observer of Raleigh investigation.

The Harnett Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment.