NAACP press conference discusses "systematic disparities"

1 year 1 month 3 days ago Wednesday, October 11 2017 Oct 11, 2017 Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:45:00 AM CDT October 11, 2017 in News
By: Lindsey Fafoglia, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The NAACP and other groups discussed a number of racial issues at a press conference Wednesday, including the conviction of Dr. Gregory McClain, the son of a Texas pastor. 

The Rev. Sylvester McClain said he wants Judge Kevin Crane of the Boone County Courthouse to release his son, who was sentenced to four months in the Boone County jail for harassment.

McClain's charge is a misdemeanor, and the Rev. McClain said it was his first offense. 

Speakers at the conference included NAACP President Mary Ratliff, Race Matters, Friends President Tracy Wilson-Kleekamp, the Rev. Sylvester McClain and the Rev. Danny Holliday.

Wilson-Kleekamp said her group has spoken out about the structural and institutional nature of racism. 

"In just about every fabric of our society in America, and Columbia is no different, we have institutional practices that unfairly target and exploit and hurt people of color," Wilson-Kleekamp said. 

She said people need to re-evaluate why we put people in jail and for what offenses. 

"We are very interested as an organization on Judge Crane's outcomes if you will, in terms of sentencing between whites and blacks," Wilson-Kleekamp said. 

In 2015 Hunter Park, a white, former Missouri University Science and Technology student, threatened to kill all black people on MU's campus over social media. He was sentenced to five years probation and is convicted as a felon.

However, the groups at the press conference said it is unfair that white man was sentenced to probation for a felony while a black man was given jail time for a misdemeanor. 

The groups have requested data about the sentencing outcomes, including race and gender, for misdemeanors and felonies in the 13th circuit, particularly Judge Kevin Crane's court. 

"We would just like to have a better look at Judge Crane's sentencing record, and actually  probably should look at the whole 13th circuit court," Wilson-Kleekamp said. 

She said McClain has been treated unfairly.

"If you look at case net, Judge Crane has never allowed McClain to speak at all." 

NAACP president Mary Ratliff said the group stands with the McClains. 

"This is not going to be, it will not be, a one-sided affair. And we need everyone to know that, that if we are going to try and bring this community together, it's going to have to be some give and take from both sides," NAACP Columbia Chapter President Mary Ratliff said. 

"He's in jail for four months," Wilson-Kleekamp said. "Why can't he be on work release?"

Rev. McClain said his son has a wife, family and a physician, and said he deserves equal treatment under the law. 

Wilson-Kleekamp said the Report on the Municipal Division Work Group to the Supreme Court of Missouri, which came out in 2016, shows that black people aren't only targeted in poverty stricken areas. In the wealthy St. Louis-area community of Ladue, black people make up one percent of the population but are 18.5 times more likely to be pulled over by the police. 

She said that often times white people are intimidated by successful black people and this case is one that shows how black men are targeted.

"Racism is an institutional and structural issue that a lot our white community does not see," Wilson-Kleekamp said. "So, we are asking you as other humans in this community to step back, take a look these disparities, and ask how you can be apart of making our government that belongs to all of us, work for all of us, and not just some of us." 

Rev. McClain said he is not going anywhere and will continue to fight.

"I'm here with one message, Judge Crane has given probation to too many felonies committed by white individuals," Rev. McClain said. "And my son had an agreement, he would be charged with a misdemeanor, because the lawyers told him you cannot get a fair trial in this environment." 

Rev. McClain said Judge Crane did not honor this agreement and put him in jail, and his son has served 75 percent of his term.

"I'm here to say, Judge Crane, let my son go. It's time justice prevails."

More News

Grid
List
GARDEN CITY - An entire police department is out of a job Wednesday morning without notice. According to the... More >>
42 minutes ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE) found a decrease in the number of new... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:54:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – The Boone County Sheriff’s Department has been working on a new computer system to better report hate... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:40:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Police and the Boone County Sheriffs Department served three federal search warrants at businesses and residents in... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:32:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A Boone County fire official said the impacted area of I-70 might not fully open until late... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:12:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
MONROE COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop B found Raffaella M. Stroik dead in Mark Twain Lake on... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:14:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman is celebrating after winning a $64,000 jackpot. Penny McNear stops at Moser’s Foods on... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 11:22:00 AM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is planning to support the first major rewrite of the nation’s... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 11:07:15 AM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The community will get a chance to learn more about autism Wednesday morning. The annual Columbia Autism... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 4:08:00 AM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Columbia plow drivers will be participating in the annual dry snow run to practice routes for the upcoming... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 3:54:00 AM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
BOSTON (AP) - World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) today revealed its nominees for the “10 Worst Toys of... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:54:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Almeta Crayton Community Program will be expanding its annual "Everybody Eats" Thanksgiving community to more locations. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 7:24:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is delivering an annual citizen’s survey to a random sample of households. The... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:58:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ryan Howard, a University of Missouri senior, is getting ready to head home for Thanksgiving break. But, his... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 6:29:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Tuesday night a Columbia committee rejected the Kroenke Group's attempt for a city code variance at the former... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:10:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says her office will not prosecute most marijuana possession cases.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 3:19:43 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – After several years of legal battles that culminated in $884,000 worth of legal fees, Trinity Lutheran Church celebrated... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two men were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary and stealing from Lange Middle School in Columbia. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, November 13 2018 Nov 13, 2018 Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:29:00 PM CST November 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
6pm 31°
7pm 29°
8pm 28°
9pm 27°