Local NAACP Pushes for Federal Investigation for Wayne Jones' Death


MARTINSBURG, W Va. - The Berkeley and Jefferson County NAACP chapters have joined forces to seek justice for the killing of Wayne Jones, who was shot 23 times by five Martinsburg Police officers in March 2013.

In April, the autopsy report confirms police shot the Jones 23 times, nearly eight times in the back, five times in his chest, once in the head, among other places.

"We know all too well that justice delayed is justice denied," said George Rutherford with the Jefferson County Chapter of the NAACP.

Two local NAACP chapters are continuing to fight for justice for the death of 50-year-old Wayne Jones and now, they're taking it to the federal level.

"Therefore the Berkley County and the Jefferson County NAACP request immediate federal investigation into this matter. Understanding the report that has been given there is no reason for any human being to be shot 23 times to be apprehended," said Rev. Vernon Cartwright with the Berkeley County Chapter of the NAACP.

As we've reported, on March 13, 2013, Jones 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 teased Jones twice and then discharged their guns.

Since then, a Berkeley County grand jury declined an indictment on the five officers involved last October. The family has filed a civil lawsuit but they said more needs to be done

"Nothing has been done so it's very important we have this type of national intervention in this that will appreciate the type of shooting that this was," said Sherman Lambert, Jones' family attorney.

Chapter members say they're pushing for a federal grand jury to investigate Jones' death.

"And now since the grand jury, Berkeley County grand jury didn't take any action. We're asking the Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder to intervene and to look into what’s going on. Because we think that a lot of people maybe in county government, city government don't see anything wrong with killing black folks. And it's going to happen again pretty sure of that," said James Tolbert with the Jefferson County Chapter of the NAACP.

Members also want a special committee to review police training in West Virginia.

"We're asking the governor to make sure that all police departments that are trained by the West Virginia State police get proper training in identifying certain situations," said Tolbert. "The reason we say that is that Wayne Jones was killed by five police. Wayne Jones only had a little pen knife according to reports."

NAACP members said they're also pushing for new legislation that would set up citizens review board to help investigate these type of incidents.

The Martinsburg Police department declined to comment on the matter and we reached out to the Martinsburg City Attorney and haven't heard back.

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