NAACP Allegedly Won’t Help Young Black Man Convicted On Technicality Of Gun Crime
The NAACP reportedly declined to help a would-be police officer overturn his career-ending conviction under New Jersey’s strict gun control laws.
Steffon Josey-Davis, 24, an African American who was on the verge of joining the police force, was working as an armed guard for a security company in September 2013 when he was pulled over on a Friday night for an expired registration.
Owing to an oversight, he had left his legally-owned firearm in the glove compartment rather than locking it in the trunk as required by law, and informed officers of that fact (see traffic stop footage below). Cops confiscated the gun, a 9mm Smith & Wesson, but only wrote him a ticket for the registration infraction. His application for a carry permit was apparently in the works at the time.
“Josey-Davis claims the pending permit was due to be approved the week he was arrested.”
When the young man went to the police department in Highland Park, New Jersey, the following Monday to retrieve his weapon, he was arrested for a second-degree felony gun crime. He subsequently pleaded the case out to avoid jail time.
“Fearing as much as 10 years in state prison, Josey-Davis took a deal for a year of probation from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office last month. He pleaded guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and in turn the prosecutor waived the provisions of the Graves Act, the state’s strict gun possession law. He is serving a year of probation as part of that plea deal,” NJ.com explained.
Another issue in the case is that New Jersey supposedly had established a firearms amnesty policy during this time which should have short-circuited the prosecution, the lawyer representing Josey-Davis, gun rights expert Evan Nappen, contends.
In a statement, the prosecutor disagreed about the applicability of the amnesty to this case and added, “Describing his conduct as a simple mistake does not negate the seriousness of this law, which was created to protect police officers and the public. Illegal gun possession is a second-degree offense, punishable by a prison term of multiple years. This defendant agreed to plead guilty and was placed on probation for one year.”
Josey-Davis, who reportedly had a clean record, was very close to being hired as a patrolman for the North Brunswick, New Jersey, police department when all this went down.
A felon is banned from serving in law enforcement. In an attempt to restore his dream of becoming a cop, Josey-Davis is seeking a pardon from Gov. Chris Christie. He has waged an aggressive campaign in the news media and on social media and has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his legal fees.
“This nightmare has ruined my life, all my hard work down the drain,” he wrote on the webpage.
A Change.org petition supporting a pardon for Steffon Josey-Davis has about 92,000 signatures at this writing.
You may recall that in April, Chris Christie pardoned Philadelphia single mom and concealed carry permittee Shaneen Allen who was stopped in nearby Atlantic City with her licensed firearm and who was facing three to five years in jail if convicted for violating New Jersey gun laws. Elsewhere in the state, a prosecutor earlier this year decided to drop a felony gun charge brought against a 72-year-old retired teacher for possession of an antique flintlock pistol also being transported in his glove box.
In an appearance on Fox and Friends yesterday, Steffon Josey-Davis claimed that he reached out to the NAACP for legal assistance, but with no results.
“I went to the NAACP and they refused to help me… they say black lives matter, but obviously they really don’t because I didn’t fit their agenda. And it’s not fair because my life matters too … Being convicted of a felony is not right and they should be able to help me…Basically I’m not getting shot by a police officer, so they’re not going to come out and defend me. I’m out here doing better for myself and trying to provide for my family. My life matters too. I’m not a criminal whatsoever, and they should be helping me just like they help other black young men out there.”
The Fox News Channel and at least one other news agency contacted the local NAACP chapter in New Jersey for comment but reportedly did not hear back.
The pardon application is currently on Chris Christie’s desk.
More information on the Steffon Josey-Davis case presented from the pro-gun National Rifle Association’s point of view is presented in the video below.
[Image via Twitter]