‘Unacceptable:’ Atlanta NAACP president threatened with suspension over Kasim Reed comments

ATLANTA — The president and CEO of the national NAACP is speaking out against the president of the Atlanta chapter after he encouraged voters not to cast their ballots for a mayoral candidate.

Last week, Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose issued a “repudiation” of former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who is running for re-election.

Rose told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that he’s never written a letter like the one he wrote against Reed and his campaign.

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Now, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson is calling Rose’s actions “unacceptable.”

“The NAACP does not support or condone its units and affiliates endorsing political candidates,” Johnson said in a statement.

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The organization also issued a cease and desist order to Rose detailing how his actions broke their bylaws as a nonpartisan organization.

The order also threatened Rose with possible suspension if he did not retract his statements.

Former Mayor Reed also released a statement following Johnson’s response that read, in part,

I am grateful for the NAACP’s swift response to Mr. Rose’s political statement. As a lifetime member of the NAACP, I am committed to the mission and work of this path breaking organization. The allegations contained in Mr. Rose’s letter were false and wholly without merit. Our campaign is being attacked because we sought and received the support of the women and men of the Atlanta Police Department at a time when crime and violence is devastating our city. We remain honored to have the support of The International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) Local 623 and are committed to making Atlanta safe in a manner that is consistent with our values as the cradle of the Civil Rights movement.

—  Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Reed is one of 14 candidates vying to be Atlanta’s next mayor in the November 2 election.

Channel 2 Action News has reached out to Rose for a statement, but has not yet heard back.