Presidents of the Greater Springfield NAACP and Council of Churches applaud appointment of John Barbieri as next police commissioner

By Jack Flynn |
on March 21, 2014

Deputy Chief John Barbieri

Deputy Chief John Barbieri

SPRINGFIELD — The presidents of the Greater Springfield NAACP chapter and the Council of Churches of Western Mass. have praised the appointment of John Barbieri as the next Police Commissioner and promised to work with him in the future.

NAACP president Talbert Swan II and Archbishop Timothy Paul Baymon of Council of Churches issued a statement today supporting Mayor Domenic J. Sarno’s selection of Barbieri while also criticizing the closed-door process preceding the appointment.

“We are extremely disappointed at the lack of transparency and closed-door process,” Swan and Baymon said, referring to private interviews between Sarno and the department’s three deputy chiefs, the only candidates considered for the job.

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Michael Dunn Florida murder case: Local NAACP President Talbert Swan II decries justice system following mistrial

By Peter Goonan, The Republican
on February 17, 2014


The Rev. Talbert W. Swan II (File photo / The Republican)

SPRINGFIELD — A partial mistrial in a Florida murder case for the shooting death of teenager Jordan Davis marks another example of failed justice involving a young black victim, according to the Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Greater Springfield chapter of the NAACP.

In a prepared statement released this week, Swan wrote that news of a mistrial on a first-degree murder charge against Michael Dunn left him saddened by the loss of life and angry at the justice system.

“The failure to convict Michael Dunn of murder only highlights the perceived value of black life and reinforces the stereotypes, which justify racial animus against Black males, their disenfranchisement, abuse, brutalization and mass incarceration,” Swan wrote. “It further sends a clear message that murdering a black male can be justified simply on the basis of him being a black male.”

The judge declared the mistrial after jurors reported they were deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge. However, Dunn was convicted on four charges, including three counts of attempted second-degree murder that could bring a long jail sentence. State prosecutors said they will again pursue the murder charge at a second trial.

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General Membership Meeting

Join members of the NAACP in our monthly membership meeting. The next meeting will take place Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:30 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