NAACP calls SBI report 'disturbing'

NAACP North Carolina State Conference President William J. Barber II. (AP image)
August 18, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
North Carolina NAACP President William Barber called a report on work by the State Bureau of Investigation "a disturbing reminder of the old times that are not forgotten" Thursday.

The scathing report released Wednesday says analysts at North Carolina's crime lab omitted, overstated or falsely reported blood evidence in dozens of cases, including three that ended in executions and another where two men were imprisoned for murdering Michael Jordan's father.

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"We believe the agencies involved have forfeited the trust and faith which people should have in them," said Barber in a written statement. "The conclusion is inescapable from these devastating revelations of deliberate wrongdoing. Every resident of North Carolina has been hurt by these malicious abuses of authority and we all remain potential victims."

But Barber also cautioned against swift action, saying: "There will be time to consider carefully the policy reforms that will be necessary to rebuild confidence in the Justice Department that Attorney General Cooper has promised."

Barber said he planned a news conference Monday to talk about how the revelations may affect law enforcement efforts in North Carolina and what it may mean for death penalty cases and those on death row.

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