National Black Justice Coalition Condemns Warsaw Mayor A.J. Connors for Response to Violent Arrest of Anthony Wall by Warsaw Police
Civil Rights organization calls for boycott of Waffle House and the
removal of Mayor Connors and Police Officer Frank Moss after
choking and slamming 22-year-old Black man
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2018) – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is calling out Warsaw, NC, Mayor A.J. Connors after his inflammatory response to the excessively violent arrest of 22-year-old Anthony Wall at a local Waffle House on May 4. NBJC is the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Mayor released a three-and-a-half minute statement in support of the police officer, who has been identified as Frank Moss, attempting to justify the treatment of Wall during the arrest. A now-viral video captured on a cellphone shows Officer Moss placing Wall in a chokehold and slamming him against a wall before throwing him to the ground. During the altercation Wall screams that he can’t breathe and pleads for his life.
NBJC Executive Director, David J. Johns, released a video in response to the mayor, as well as the following statement:
“Mayor Connors had an opportunity to stand up for one of his constituents — for justice — when he released his statement about the incident involving Anthony Wall, a 22-year-old Black gay man, who was the victim of racial and homophobic discrimination and harassment in one of his city’s public establishments. The mayor, instead, squandered that opportunity by releasing an irresponsible and premature judgement of Mr. Wall. While details continue to unfold about the full incident, it is evident that the officer used excessive force as Mr. Wall was in fear, struggled to breathe, and called for a supervisor. I was hoping Mayor Connors would have rewatched both his own video and that of Anthony’s encounter with Warsaw police, listened to his constituents who have condemned his response and recanted his reprehensible statement; yet, to-date, that has not occurred.”
“In the same breath that the mayor feigned ‘transparency,’ he also attempted to try a case in the court of public opinion by supporting a bully — an overpowering cop — who could have killed a young Black man for reasons that have yet to be presented in a court of law. The Mayor’s statements are biased, reckless and wreak of an elected official who does not understand the importance of ensuring that all of his constituents are served and have equal protection under the law."
“The National Black Justice Coalition joins other civil rights organizations in calling for the removal of Mayor Connors and Officer Frank Moss. We will not back down from contacting the Mayor’s office nor the police department simply because they feel inconvenienced. We will exercise our rights to free speech and to assemble. We will demand justice, a fair investigation and transparency from all public servants, and we will continue our fight to eradicate racism and homophobia in this country.”
Johns also called for a boycott of Waffle House until the corporation denounces the behavior of its employees, issues an apology to Wall and police charges are dropped against the young man. Additionally, the organization is looking to Waffle House to change its non-discrimination policies and implement Cultural Competence training for all its franchisees and employees.