Richmond NAACP branch criticizes decision to not pursue charges after threatening voicemail

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Members of the Richmond NAACP branch spoke Wednesday about the decision from the city’s top prosecutor to not pursue charges against an individual who left a threatening message for the branch in August.

The president of the Richmond chapter of the NAACP, James “J.J.” Minor, told 8News months ago that he was “shocked and disgusted” when he first heard the voice message.

“You’re a racist bunch of black, useless people,” the voicemail said. “We’re going to get rid of you, you’re not needed anymore.”

Weeks later, Richmond Police Chief William Smith confirmed that an investigation revealed the identity of the person who left the message but charges were not being pursued.

Richmond’s NAACP chapter still wants to know who was behind the alarming voicemail.

“Racism exists, it is not a mental illness, it is an act of evil,” Minor said. “And if we allow a person or the perpetrator or perpetrators to continue to make threats at civil rights organizations, then they will continue to do it. We can’t allow that.”

Wednesday’s press conference was held at the steps of the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond. The city’s NAACP is frustrated with the commonwealth’s attorney’s office for not pressing charges and has not been given an explanation of why.

“This is not us against her,” Minor said. “It just we want her to do her job.”

8News reached out to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office for comment and did not get a response.

“We want to know who he is,” Minor said. “Who’s protecting him? Who’s behind the mask?”

According to the Code of Virginia, anyone who uses vulgar, profane, lewd, or indecent language or makes a threat by phone may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“This is a serious matter,” said Bernice E. Travers, for Richmond Crusade for Voters. “Anytime someone threatens an organization, you don’t know what could happen.”

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