Ferguson Shooting Hits Close to Home for Local NAACP Members

Ferguson Shooting Hits Close to Home for Local NAACP Members

"That really has frustrated the people," said George Rutherford with the Jefferson County NAACP Chapter. "Because they know the killing took place they know at least five police officers did it. Shot 23 or 25 times. Shot in back about 7, 8 times and yet nothing has happened."

JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. - The smoky haze of tear gas and chants from peaceful protests fill the air in Ferguson, as the nation continues to watch as a community reacts to the killing of the unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. But in Ranson, West Virginia, local NAACP members continue waiting for justice for another killing. 

"It's the same thing, same thing. Police taking into their own hands to be judge and jury," said James Tolbert with the Jefferson County NAACP Chapter.

On March 13, 2013 Wayne Jones, 50, was walking in the roadway of South Queen Street when officers approached him. Jones told officers he had a weapon and did stab an officer after a short foot pursuit, that’s when officers tased Jones twice, and then discharged their guns. In April 2013 the autopsy report confirmed police shot Jones 23 times, nearly eight times in the back, five times in his chest, once in the head, among other places.

Since his death, a Berkeley County grand jury declined an indictment on the fiver officers involved last October.

"That really has frustrated the people," said George Rutherford with the Jefferson County NAACP Chapter. "Because they know the killing took place. They know at least five police officers did it. Shot 23 or 25 times. Shot in back about seven, eight times and yet nothing has happened."

The Jones family has filed a civil lawsuit and it's a trial many hope brings justice to the family.

"Because the family needs it. I mean, you just don't let a brother go be killed and just forget about it. So I just think they need you know a whole lot of closure to this too," said Tolbert.

And while the streets of Martinsburg remain silent, Rutherford said he understands why Ferguson has exploded.

"Because this is taking place all over the county and so now they want to protest somewhere," said Rutherford. "So I understand why they're doing it, not that it's correct but I can see you get fed up after a while and you have to have some type of outlet and this is the outlet."

An outlet that has all eyes on St. Louis for one death while others wait patiently for justice for another killing that hasn't made national headlines.

This past May, the Jefferson and Berkeley County NAACP Chapters pushed this case to the federal level and asked for a federal grand jury to investigate Wayne Jones' death. They tell WHAG that they're still waiting for an answer.

The Jones family has filed a civil lawsuit, and that trial is set to begin on October 28.

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