NAACP Issues Statement Demanding an Investigation into the Unwarranted Attack by a TPD K-9

Special to The Truth

The NAACP Toledo Chapter held a press conference Friday, April 19, 2024, at their headquarters where they issued a statement demanding an investigation into the unwarranted attack by a Toledo police K-9 during a traffic stop on Thursday, April 11, 2024 on Albion St. where a Black man Brandon Upchurch suffered severe injuries to his arm.

Attending the press conference and addressing area media were Rev. Willie Perryman, president NAACP Toledo; Reggie Williams, executive director of the Frederick Douglass Community Association; Albert Earl, board resident of the Frederick Douglass Community Association; Darlene Sweeney, Executive Committee member NAACP Toledo, and Pastor Lee Williams.

Upchurch, and his cousin, Frederick Wilson III, also Black, were stopped for allegedly having stolen plates on Upchurch’s pick-up truck. An allegation that was later determined to be false information. In video obtained by media, the Toledo Police K-9 handler approached Mr. Upchurch and then released the dog who attacked Upchurch. Upchurch was handcuffed while under attack and arrested.

In response, the Toledo Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) #3204, said it was disgusted by the turn of events at the traffic stop involving police officers including a canine unit. Rev. Perryman issued this statement:

“Nearly 60 years ago, almost to the day, an image of a young Black man being attacked by a police dog, a tactic frequently used by police against African Americans, is still etched in the memories of many community members and those of us who were fortunate enough to learn our history. Now 60 years later we are still faced with the injustices of this inhumane practice. Our police are here to serve, not to occupy, our neighborhoods even when they believe a violation of the law has been committed. We count on our police to be fair and just when dealing with community members because, as in this case, officers can be misinformed.

Incidents of this type not only setback any progress of positive community and police relations but demonstrates is a glaring need for training. We will not stand by and allow officers to conduct themselves in the abusive way they displayed during this incident. We demand there be a thorough investigation which includes a detailed report of its outcome and subsequent consequences. We will not go back to the 1960s!”

Reggie Williams echoed Rev. Perryman’s statement and added that history is repeating itself. He cited another more recent incident where Toledo Police conduct towards female member of the Black community had been called into question.

“We will not tolerate inhumane circumstances that happen to our community citizens. We stand in unity with our brothers, and we demand that justice be done,” Williams said. “We need to look at ways to resolve police and community relations. We do not want to go into summer having more escalation of things that will not allow us to trust Toledo police officers.”

Williams also acknowledged that Toledo police officers have a job to do, and that job depends greatly on the bridge between technology and the officers. He says part of the investigation needs to focus on making sure misinformation between technology and the officers is corrected.