WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – After a sheriff's deputy was shot in the Creekwood housing development last month, Raymond Bates, founder of the N.O.T.T.T. Foundation, said the NAACP needed to become more involved in the community to help cut down on crime.
On Friday, Deborah Maxwell, president of the New Hanover County NAACP, said she's not surprised by Bates' comments.
"People will always call out someone who has been working and advocating," explained Maxwell.
She claims that her organization is actively trying to bring peace to the community.
"We are there. We are advocating," Maxwell elaborated. She explained that her group hosts free camps for children, and constantly takes part in peace marches as well as community meetings.
Maxwell said that the weekend of the deputy shooting in Creekwood, her group was at a state conference in Rocky Mount. She said that the NAACP would have been out in the community the day of the shooting, if more representatives had been in town.
She also explained that the NAACP branch is actively developing a new criminal justice committee to respond during matters that involve law enforcement.
The New Hanover County NAACP president continued to explain that the peace-bringing process takes time.
"You just don't make change overnight," said Maxwell. "I invite them to join us one day and see exactly what it is about because obviously we've been around over 104 years so we definitely have proven track record of making change."
Maxwell wants Bates and other skeptics to familiarize themselves with the NAACP before they criticize the organization.
"We suggest that if they feel that way, they need to give us a call. Look at the website. Come join us."
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