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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –The NAACP Macon branch and District Attorney David Cooke, held separate news conferences Monday to address concerns about the protocol for recent cases.
President of the NAACP Macon branch says, some of the cases are manipulated by Cooke.
“There’s a lot of disparities in the way these cases are handled,” said Gwenette Westbrooks.
Westbrooks says for example, under Cooke, a black person who committed a crime would go to the superior court, while a person of another race who committed the same crime will be tried in state court.
“It has to end,” expressed Westbrooks.
According to Cooke, his office previously responded to some of the concerns made by the NAACP. He says his office considers each case based on evidence, no matter the race of the victim or defendant.
Cooke says he and his staff participated in bias training last year, and plan to do it again in September.
The organization began meeting with Cooke last year, after receiving dozens of letters from inmates who signed a petition to get their cases looked at.
“It’s not like we don’t have a good relationship,” said Vice President of the chapter Willie Dumas.
The NAACP says there are several instances were Cooke unfairly prosecuted defendants including the Ronnie Antwon Smith case. Smith had been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery, but they say the case had not been charged properly.
Cooked admitted there was a mistake, but later rectified it. He says everything his administration has done has been towards justice, fairness, and equality for all.
The NAACP Macon branch says they do not have any personal vendetta against Cooke, they just want justice to be served properly.