SALISBURY, Md. – The Wicomico County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is urging the community to write to their local congressperson or representative about enforcing new rules for Maryland police procedures.
This comes after the NAACP announced the filed a request for an independent investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting of Winfield Fisher III outside of Barrack “E” off Route 13 and Dagsboro Road last March.
In addition to an investigation, the organization has a list of grievances they want addressed by the Department of Justice and state senate office.
The NAACP wants to see dash and body cams enforced for all Maryland police as well as mandatory training for deescalating volatile situations.
Mary Ashanti, President of the Wicomico County NAACP, said more in-depth training for police is necessary in order for them to serve the public better during a Dec. 6 press conference at Sojourner Douglass College.
“You can't get better at what you do if you don't try to improve your craft,” said Ashanti.
The local chapter said they are not satisfied with the internal investigation the Maryland State Police conducted.
WBOC spoke to Wicomico County State Attorney Matt Maciarello for a response to the NAACP's request for an independent investigation.
Maciarello said he stands by the decision his office made in July when both officers involved in the incident were cleared.
“Probable cause, of course, does not exist to charge either Cpl. Myers and Tpr. Wilkins,” said Maciarello in July 2014. “They have committed no wrong doing or crime as a result of the actions that they took,” the state attorney said.
When asked if the NAACP would call for a separate investigation into the death of Fisher had the officer(s) involved been an African American, Ashanti said no.
“It hurts us just as bad if, no matter what the color of the person's skin, if they believe that we are sub-human,” said Ashanti.
The NAACP is awaiting a response from the justice department and state senate office about a new investigation.