Atlanta (WAOK)-The NAACP in Georgia is calling for racial and cultural sensitivity training for police officers in the state.

The announcement comes in the midst of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the deadly shooting of unarmed 18 year old Michael Brown on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

Reacting to the street clashes between police in riot gear and protestors in Ferguson, Atlanta NAACP President Dr. R. L. White said it reminded him of the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 60s. “It reminds us of the way the police did when they trampled the rights of the civil rights workers who wanted what everybody else wanted, and that was the right to vote”, said White.

The NAACP says that it is calling for police departments across Georgia to require sensitivity training to acquaint them with the differences in cultures of the various ethnic groups.

Demetrius Fisher, Executive Director of the Georgia NAACP said, “We have various trainers across the state that have been trained in this area through the Justice Department who would be able to provide cultural and sensitivity training.”

As the groups call for police officers to be trained, the NAACP also want training for young African American males. White, the Atlanta NAACP President said, “We have to train them as to how to stay alive when the police stop them, and whenever you have this kind of threat in our society, it’s a tragedy.”

Atlanta NAACP board member Mary Ross said, “Although he’s in Missouri”, referring to Michael Brown, “He’s still our baby, he’s still our child and we need justice.”

Dekalb NAACP President John Evans said, “We cannot afford to take this kind of mess.”

Rallies for justice continue to be held across the U.S. including in Atlanta.

Elle Lucier, organizer of Monday’s #It’s Bigger Than You Peaceful Protest, is asking participants to wear their Sunday best and for high school and college graduates to wear caps and gowns. According to Lucier, a prevailing sentiment on social media and on television is “the idea that if we pick our pants up, or if we walk outside with a suit and tie, there is no reason for us to be gunned down.” Lucier said it’s a sarcastic way of asking persons with such beliefs, “How well must I dress up for you? What does innocence look like? Does the fact that I graduated from college or graduated from high school play a role in the fact that you will gun me down in the streets before giving me a chance at due process?”

The 6pm protest will begin at the CNN Center in Downtown Atlanta, move down Ivan Allen Boulevard, and then back to CNN Center.

Written by Maria Boynton


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