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NAACP asks for change from Petersburg Police after alleged assault

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- A local chapter of the NAACP reached out to the Petersburg Police Department to ask for change after a Petersburg man alleged he was assaulted by a local police officer in June, as he filmed the officers with his smart phone.

“I have been talking to the officials to see if we could come to some common ground so that these things will not happen again,” said Alzena Mayfield, head of the Petersbug NCAAP.

The cell phone video showed two Petersburg police officers yelling at the person filming, telling them to get inside, and then the camera phone falls to the ground.

When the phone is on the ground it is not clear what events are happening,  but Devin Thomas -- the man who shot the video -- said the officers began beating him.

“I didn't like what I saw on the video, the way they were treated -- it was out of the norm for police officers,” Mayfield said.

While the Petersburg Police Department continues to investigate the incident, Mayfield said she is working with the police chief to improve relations between the community and police.

“My goal is to make sure this community is safe; you don't have to be afraid of the police, and the police don't have to be afraid of us,” Mayfield said.

Thomas first spoke with CBS 6 investigative reporter Melissa Hipolit in June, but now has a lawyer and is no longer talking to the media.

Thomas’s uncle, Miles Owanga did go on camera and said that he is not sure the NCAAP is taking the right approach.

“I'm extremely upset that they would work with the police department,” Owanga said.

Owanga said he wants change and justice.

“There should be disciplinary action against the police department because citizens know that is their practice -- what they did to Devin,” Owanga said.

Thomas faces charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and returns to court in October.

We reached out to the Petersburg Police chief, but a spokesperson said he was not available to talk to us.


  • B Addy

    With all the daily news involving blacks and crime , this is what this laughable organization is spending it’s time on. C’mon guys.

    • Manny Sr G

      I so agree ! jesse is just like all these people,don’t work and make money.just like his son did ! why don’t the naacp go after all the black thugs and protect people of All races ! That just shows how racist these people are.No other race has a whole month gear to their race,that’s because All the other races are working to support their A** !why don’t jj have a comment about the black man dealing drugs? he wants changes and the investigation is not even over ! what a fool !

  • ken

    the naacp is such a joke.the name itself needs to be changed you would think,I mean who uses “colored” anymore,duh

    • Robbie

      The reference to the words “colored people” is racist in itself. The NAACP and its leaders are still in living in the 60’s. I suggest that the leaders take a ride with the Petersburg police and see the verbal abuse they take from these wonderful neighborhoods. I know, not interested!

  • manalishi

    Heres a novel idea. Hows about the NAACP get deputized and clean up that s**thole themselves. Give the overwhelmed PPD a well deserved vacation.

  • John

    First off the NAACP is a joke and the members are racist if they think white cops are holding them back. This fine black citizens dig their own holes by running from the police, driving while suspended and selling drugs. Grow up and Stop blaming whitey for your problems.

  • J.d. Saunders

    NAACP is a joke, just ask Terence Williams of the Scotland Chapter of the NAACP. Talks the talk but does not walk the walk. I guess he loves the perks of a useless organization. #jmtc

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