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Marshall NAACP accuses commissioners of discrimination

A group in Marshall, Texas says they're being unfairly targeted. Tonight they accuse city leaders of eliminating positions based on race.
A group in Marshall, Texas says they're being unfairly targeted. Tonight they accuse city leaders of eliminating positions based on race.

The Marshall City Commission voted to eliminate several positions in city hall----many held by African Americans.

At Monday night’s meeting it was clear the commission is divided. They voted at least four times and every time they voted the vote came out the same--four to three. It was split right down racial lines.
White commissioners supported the budget and the black commissioners opposed it.

Mayor Ed Smith says the division isn't based on race.

“Unfortunately I think these accusations are rising in part from people who don't understand the process of what we're trying to accomplish.”

The focus of Monday's meeting is the budget and eliminating positions.

Charles Wilson says, “If they are smart commissioners they can figure out a way to balance the budget without firing people."

Smith says revenue is down and if jobs aren't eliminated the cuts will have to come from somewhere else.

Wilson is the president of the Marshall NAACP. She put together a petition opposing the budget and it received 400 signatures.

Despite the public outrage, the budget was still approved. Joseph Epps has lived in Marshall 66 years and he says people are now leaving the city.

"It's difficult for us to live here and work here."

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