NAACP, local activists call for action in wake of not guilty verdict

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by Shern-Min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 17, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 11:01 AM

HOUSTON --Many of Houston’s African-American ministers and activists were outraged by the not-guilty verdict given to fired HPD Officer Andrew Blomberg.  While some called for calm, others did not. 

The ministers also gave notice to the leaders of Houston’s mega-churches that their feet would also be held to this fire.

Standing outside the Houston NAACP headquarters, one minister preached from a podium as if it were a pulpit.

 “It is open season on a negro,” Reverend James Dixon cried.

Houston NAACP Executive Director Yolanda Smith agreed.

“The fact the jury was all white is, and should be, a concern to all minorities with Harris County having majority minority population of over 67 percent,” she said.

The group called for federal prosecutors and agents to take over the case against the three remaining ex-officers still to be tried.

And they called on other religious leaders. 

 “When it’s time for you to show up on behalf of this kind of race crime we don’t see the big names that sell the books and that have the TV programs in Houston, Texas.”  Reverend Dixon said.

 “We’re talking about the preachers who have megadomes, but won’t speak to the mega mess of injustice,” activist Quanell X added.

The group declined to name names, but promised to blast the names of preachers who would not stand with them.  On the day of the verdict, some said to take justice to the streets.  

But were they encouraging peaceful protests or not? 

“I want to ask calm in this city.  Let’s not get out of character,” Pastor James Nash said.

“Don’t ask us what the people should do.  They got a right to do whatever God puts in their heart to do,” said Quanell X.  “Whatever the people do, don’t burn down grandma’s house.  Don’t burn down our own community.”

There will be a formal protest on Thursday, May 17th at 4 p.m. outside the Harris County Courthouse.  Organizers said that demonstration would be peaceful.

While the group protested, others in Houston said they didn't believe justice was missed.

 “I do have faith in their decision. Sometimes when things go your way, sometimes they go the other, but I have faith in their decision," said Mike Sehzue.

 Jason Charles agreed.

 "Yeah I have faith that the jury will find if you are really guilty, you are guilty and if you are innocent you are innocent," he said.  "You shouldn't be running from the law. That is the biggest point. You shouldn't be running from the law."

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