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NAACP president faces criticism, expands more on Rock Hill body camera footage

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) -A local NAACP president is facing backlash.

This comes after Rock Hill chapter president Dr. Norma Gray stood beside police officers twice in the past two weeks following the arrest of Ricky and Travis Price.

Some in Rock Hill are calling it a public display of police support.

Dr. Norma Gray defended her actions, saying that her relationship with the Rock Hill police department goes back seven years and that it has given her access. That access includes seeing the body camera footage from the Price brothers arrest we are now hearing more details about.

In the last two weeks since the Price brothers’ arrest, Dr. Norma Gray has stood next to Rock Hill Police Chief Chris Watts twice. She is refuting that it means she stands with officers.

”I never stand with the chief of police with the exception of when I was invited to stand with the chief of police,” said Gray.

She is facing backlash for that time.

An NBC News article indicated standing with police can often help the officers rather than the community they are aiming to protect.

”I wasn’t the only one. The religious leaders in this community invited the mayor, the sheriff, the chief of police at their conference but they didn’t get called out,” said Gray.

But Gray’s seven-year relationship with the head officers at Rock Hill Police Department has opened doors for the community the police find invaluable.

”A bridge between her community and us. I don’t think that speaks to volumes on her roll and what she’s been able to accomplish,” said Rock Hill Police Department Public Information Officer Michael Chavis.

That relationship allows access. One of those things is the long-awaited body camera footage she’s asked the chief to release three times.

”It reveals the truth,” she said.

The NAACP president who saw the videos, gave more insight today about what the footage shows and when they could be released to the public. The arrest of Ricky and Travis Price sparked protests in Rock Hill when a video of their arrests was shown on Facebook Live.

The NAACP president said multiple bodycam videos show close-up angles of Ricky Price’s arrest shown on Facebook Live. We have not seen the body camera footage because it has not been released yet, but Dr. Norma Gray was granted permission to watch the footage a few days after the Price brother’s arrest.

Shortly after, she called for the community to be patient with the NAACP and Rock Hill Police as they tried to get the video released to the public as soon as possible.

In Tuesday’s press conference, Gray said the video needs to be released sooner rather than later.

Gray shared details about the footage.

She says you can see more of what happened to Ricky Price closer and she feels what happened doesn’t match with the police report.

”Personally I do believe the community is going to be outraged again,” she says.

The York County solicitor’s office says plans to release it by the end of this week. Gray says there are multiple angles, and she has seen most of the videos.

“Appalled. That this is happening in our front yard,” says Gray.

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