NAACP, GOP in Dialogue

With Attorney General Jeff Landry poised at any time to report on his investigation of the Alton Sterling and announce whether there will be prosecutions, some local black and Republican leaders have opened a dialogue between the two groups.
Top leaders of the state and local chapters of the NAACP were invited to speak about their concerns and priorities at the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon sponsored by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish last week.
The meeting was marked by a conciliatory tone as the two groups realized that they have differences and should try to work through them.
Speakers were
•    Byron Sharper, president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP
•    Mike McClanahan, president of the Louisiana NAACP
•    Ernest Johnson, president emeritus of the Louisiana NAACP and a member of the national board
Responding was Woody Jenkins, chairman of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish. During the question and answer session, other Republicans joined into the conversation. The entire meeting was televised live and can be watched in its entirety. Viewers should download a QR code reader from the App Store and then point their phones at the QR code at right.
Both sides privately expressly concerns about the volatility of the situation and the importance of keeping lines of communication open at all times.
Members of the NAACP expressed dismay that three videos of the Alton Sterling shooting have not been released after nearly two years. Jenkins said he agreed and they should have been released shortly after the incident. Jenkins said he doesn’t believe there will be a prosecution because the officer was in fear for his life, and prosecutors could not get a conviction. However, he said he has spoken to people who have seen the videos and that they are “horrible.”

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