SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bishop Talbert Swan, President of the Greater Springfield NAACP, issued a statement on the violence that took place in Virginia last weekend.
Swan told 22News that it saddens him racists have been emboldened by the rhetoric and actions of those at the highest levels of authority.
He insists that freedom of speech can be expressed without violence.
Bishop Swan said, “City government, law enforcement, civil rights organizations like ours, churches, and other places of worships, as well as citizens, are united against sending the message, that racism, white supremacy and violent activity is something that we won’t stand for in the city.”
Swan told 22News he decided to make his voice heard after seeing the insensitive Facebook comment attributed to Springfield police officer Conrad Lariviere, concerning a counter-protester’s death in Charlottesville. Swan said a racially motivated violent death of any human is no laughing matter.
Bishop Swan told 22News that the NAACP is calling for a transparent and full investigation into Officer Lariviere’s Facebook post. Officer Lariviere has been assigned to desk duty during the investigation.