Race matters: Bishop Talbert Swan, president of Greater Springfield NAACP, says no indictment in Ferguson case means “America has a long way to go” to bridge racial divide

Bishop Talbert Swan II, president of the Greater Springfield NAACP, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the failure of a Missouri grand jury to hand up an indictment in the case of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, back in August. The case has sparked protests and unrest in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Swan said the case proves that “America has a long way to go” in terms of bridging the racial divide and winning justice for young black men who are killed by police officers.

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General Membership Meeting

Join members of the NAACP in our monthly membership meeting. The next meeting will take place Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Spring of Hope Church Of God In Christ, 35 Alden Street, Springfield, MA.

File a Complaint with the Springfield Branch NAACP

Holyoke firefighter Timothy Leary apologizes for racial slur in letter to Greater Springfield NAACP President Rev. Talbert Swan, Mayor Alex Morse

Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse, left, and the Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Greater Springfield NAACP. ((FILE PHOTOS))

HOLYOKE — In a letter addressed to Mayor Alex B. Morse and Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Greater Springfield chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Timothy Leary apologized for his comments in a 2012 video.

The provisional Fire Department lieutenant made racially insensitive remarks regarding City Councilor Anthony Soto while off duty, speaking with owner of Hampshire Towing William Johnson in his South Hadley office.

The video came to light in February. On Aug. 8, Leary said he agreed to meet with the NAACP and Morse regarding his remarks.

Below is the full text of the letter, dated Sept. 26:

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