(Updated 8/2/2014)-Annapolis, Maryland— Members of Anne Arundel NAACP including friends, neighbors, and family members of the late Kendall Green gathered at the First Baptist Church on July 31. They held a candlelight vigil and march to protest the decision of Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge William Mulford II to acquit the assailant who fatally shot him.
According to Carl Snowden, chairman of the local NAACP chapter, Green’s case is symbolic of what is happening all over the nation. “There’s a senseless killing of African-American men that’s occurring,” Snowden said. “Whether it’s Travon Martin in Florida, or Oscar Grant in California, or an African-American male being choked to death in New York City, there [are] just too many senseless deaths occurring and Kendall Green’s case is sparking a reaction where people are saying, ‘Enough is enough’.”
Green, 25, was found fatally shot, allegedly by Mathew Martin Pinkerton, 34, last September on the front of his porch. Green was an African-American, Pinkerton is White.
According to prosecutors, Pinkerton, who is in the Air Force, suspected his wife was having an affair with Green while he was deployed to Korea. Though his wife Jessica Pinkerton denied these allegations, Green’s mother, Felecia Carroll, confirmed the relationship. Green visited the couple’s home and the men got into an altercation. In the midst of trading words, Pinkerton allegedly called Green the “N” word.
According to Snowden, the trial wasn’t fair because it was not decided by the jury but instead by Judge Mulford when he granted the defense’s motion for summary judgment. Pinkerton was acquitted on the charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter, and use of a firearm in a felony or violent crime.
Green’s mother, who also attended the vigil, described her son as a loyal and helpful friend who attended church regularly and was family-oriented. “He was silly, little kids loved him,” she said. “What we miss most about him is we didn’t realize how much of a bright light he was. He was just a normal 25-year-old who did things 20-something year old’s do.”
Carroll, along with Snowden, believes the shooting was racially motivated. In addition, they believe that Mulford had his own agenda. “I don’t think Mulford believed in the case from the very beginning,” said Carroll. “As a matter of fact he would not allow the fact that the “N” word was used in the case. I believe my son’s case wasn’t given a fair trial.”
Green’s family and the Anne Arundel NAACP are calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case as a hate crime on the grounds that prior to being shot, Green was called a racial slur. Participants at the vigil also signed a petition as a “no confidence vote” in the judge who made the decision.
Snowden said the goal of the protest was also to mobilize and organize voters for the upcoming election. “We believe the community needs to be more aware of these judges they are voting for and [that] the kind of decisions they are making will impact their lives. We hope to raise public consciousness and let people know what judges like Mulford are doing to our people,” he said.