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Local NAACP responds to Kaelin's George Floyd post

Terry Mills
Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 02:55:55-04

UPDATE (11:09 p.m.): Nueces Co. Republican Party Chair Jim Kaelin responds to NAACP demands for his removal. Kaelin posted a lengthy Facebook entry late Friday night in which he said he received the hand-delivered letter at home. See the full story here.

The Corpus Christi chapter of the NAACP has joined in the chorus of voices calling for Nueces Co. Republican Party Chairman Jim Kaelin's removal Friday after his recent Facebook post about the circumstances surrounding George Floyd's death.

The post, which questions the veracity of the video showing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chavin's knee on Floyd's neck during a May 25 arrest, was uploaded onto Kaelin's Facebook page May 29. It has since been removed.

Local NAACP chapter president Terry Mills issued a statement Friday saying the message "is an erroneous allegation that Trump and others within the Republican Party have been promoting to whitewash the heinous action of police officer Derek Chauvin."

KRIS 6 News reached out to Mills for comment, but was told all he had to say is in the statement. Calls to Kaelin went straight to voicemail.

The post also was immediately condemned by the Nueces Co. Democratic Party, and Black Democrats also offered a response this week.

The post came into the public eye last week as other Texas GOP Party chairs were discovered to also have shared it. Gov. Greg Abbott called for Kaelin and Bexar Co. GOP Chair Cynthia Brehm's resignations June 4.

In a news conference held the next day, Kaelin was given the Nueces Co. Republican Party's vote of confidence and refused to step down. He said he intends to stay in office though the November elections, and could consider after.

"I don't work for the governor, I don't work for any elected state or local official -- I work for the Republican party of Nueces county, and I answer only to them for my activities as their party chairman," he said.

In an interview with KRIS 6 News anchor Mike Gillaspia on Wednesday, Abbott again called for Kaelin to resign.

"I think it is inappropriate for people who are spreading these completely false conspiracy theories for them to be in positions of authority in our political parties," he said.

In an interview with local radio personality Bob Jones on June 5, the former Nueces Co. Sheriff said he thought shared the post because it raised questions he also would have asked as a former investigator, but admitted sharing the theory was an error in judgment.

“This post that I put out was sent to me, all I did was forward it,” said Kaelin on Jones' Show. “That was probably my mistake. I’m not proposing a conspiracy, I’m not proposing anything.”

Mills agrees the post was a mistake.

"The decision of Chairman Kaelin to repost this . . . indicates a lack of sensitivity and a serious breach of ethics and judgment," he said in Friday's statement.

KRIS 6 News reporters Greg Chandler and Seth Kovar contributed to this story.