The NAACP held a rally today at the Missouri State Capitol to culminate its Journey for Justice; a 120 mile march from Ferguson to Jefferson City.
Speakers called for changes at local, state and federal government levels in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown, Junior, August 9 by a Ferguson Police officer. Among them, they want Governor Jay Nixon (D) to name a special prosecutor to reexamine Brown’s death, after a grand jury decided not to indict that officer.
Nixon, who has been criticized by many demonstrators and state legislators and elected officials for his administration’s handling of unrest in Ferguson, was not in Jefferson City when the marchers arrived and held their rally.
His office notes, he met with NAACP leaders Wednesday but after the rally, National NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said, “It would have been great for him to be here, particularly to meet and discuss an issue of this magnitude.”
“I think it’s important to hear Missourians,” said Brooks. “Many people seem to believe that more can be done.”
Brooks said, “The same folks who brought us coffee and donuts in the morning as we marched. The same folks who tooted their horns in support while others dropped the N-word; those are the people we believe will stand behind the governor if he supports comprehensive, global reform of policing in the state of Missouri and leads the nation.”
Nixon was in Joplin announcing the issuance of bonds to fund renovations at Missouri Southern State University and Crowder College.
Nixon’s office sent out a release Friday prior to the rally saying that former Senator Maida Coleman, whom he named Director of his new Office of Community Engagement, would speak at the rally. Coleman was there but did not speak.