NAACP chief arrested in voting rights protest

The president of the NAACP was arrested Monday during a protest over voting rights in Virginia, according to a new report.

Cornell William Brooks was charged with trespassing and refusing to sign a summons at the end of the demonstration, The Roanoke Times said.


The Roanoke Times said Brooks was one of approximately 20 protesters conducting a sit-in lasting about six hours at at Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview MORE’s (R-Va.) district office in Roanoke.

NAACP Youth and College Division Director Stephen Green was also arrested during the event, which called for the restoration of provisions removed from the Voting Rights Act.

“We have seen voter suppression laws passed all across the country,” said Brooks, citing a string of recent court rulings striking down voter ID and other voting-related laws in multiple states nationwide.

“The right to vote in this country is imperiled, and it’s imperiled not in the 1950s, black-white sort of way but in a 2016, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational way. This is not your grandfather’s voter suppression. This is Jim Crow 2.0.”

The Roanoke Time noted that Monday’s demonstration comes two days after the 51st anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

It also follows a Supreme Court decision a little over three years ago, it said, that nullified a provision requiring certain states with histories of discrimination to submit their voting laws for federal approval.

Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would remain vigilant for evidence of voter discrimination.

“The Voting Rights Act is alive and well and protecting the freedom to vote,” he said in a statement. "The right to vote is a hallmark of democracy and we must ensure all Americans’ constitutional right to vote is not infringed.

“While the Supreme Court struck down the old coverage formula that required certain states to preclear their voting rule changes with the federal government, the Court left in place other important tools in the Voting Rights Act, including the section that allows federal judges to place jurisdictions under a preclearance regime if those jurisdictions act in an unconstitutional and discriminatory matter. So, strong remedies against unconstitutional voting discrimination remain in place today."