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

Rev. William Barber

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.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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