WKU NAACP hold forum on Troy Davis

Joanna Williams

What can we do to prevent this? How is this possible? Would there have been a different reaction if the police officer was black?

These were the questions people brought with them to Wednesday night’s Troy Davis forum put on by WKU’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Mass Media Auditorium.

The forum was put on as a response to the execution of Troy Davis last month by the state of Georgia.

Davis, a black man, was convicted of killing a police officer more than 20 years ago.

Vice president for Student Affairs Howard Bailey was one of three who served on the panel. Bailey said that he believed race, gender and a person’s socioeconomic status all determine whether they receive a fair trial.

Bailey also said that Davis’ legal defense was bad from the beginning and said people of color must find better attorney’s to defend them in court.

“It’s better than most but not fair,” Bailey said of the U.S. justice system.  “We have to make sure that young men of color don’t see a hoodlum lifestyle is attractive…Make your kids understand that the system is not designed for him…One of the most dangerous individuals on the face of the earth is a frightened police officer,” he said.

Prince Mack a member of the Warren County NAACP served on the panel as well.

He said he didn’t believe Davis had a fair trial and that people must learn the justice system if they wanted to not be in a similar situation.

The NAACP chapter also proposed questions to the audience such as their feelings about the Casey Anthony Trial in relation to the Troy Davis trial and if they believed racism was more prevalent in the South than other regions in the U.S.

James Glove, a WKU graduate from Paducah said he tries to support anything minority students put on at WKU and applauded WKU’s NAACP chapter for taking initiative about the Davis case.

 “These young people are trying to make statements as opposed to just being young.”

Louisville sophomore Candice Lewis said that as soon as she heard about the Davis’ case she had to attend whatever she could to talk about it.

“I think it was very informative,” she said. “I just wished they would have answered more of my questions. They sorta went around them…I guess that’s good because they don’t want to take sides.”