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Local NAACP chapter opposes defunding police

The local chapter of the NAACP said in a statement Monday that while it supports law enforcement reforms in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, it opposes defunding law enforcement agencies.

"Disavowing the defunding of police recognizes our continuing need for public safety provided by the Hendersonville Police Department and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department," the chapter said in a statement. The statement was supported by the Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearmen, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and Melinda Lowrance, a Hendersonville cleaning service owner who is the Hendersonville chapter president and the Western North Carolina NAACP District supervisor.

"We speak to the recent and continuing protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that have generally been labeled as protest rallies under the banner of Black Lives Matter," they said. "While generally peaceful demonstrations, we can all deplore the level of violence that has occurred in some instances and we can be proud of local demonstrations that have taken place without incident. ... Our local NAACP favors reforming where necessary and stands against defunding.

"A review of reforming is essentially a review of tactics that recognizes the life and organization lesson of 'When we stop getting better, we stop being good.' We support efforts aimed at demilitarization, recruiting practices that focus on mental suitability and further efforts aimed at de-escalation training.

The purpose of the statement, they added, was to notify the Hendersonville City Council and Henderson County Board of Commissioners of the NAACP's "continuing support of our two local law enforcement agencies and our lack of support for defunding their work."