A Black councilmember in his 40s smiles excitedly while speaking with the City of Vallejo's first Black police chief inside a city council chambers while surrounded by other councilmembers and members of the news media.
Then-Vallejo Councilmember Hakeem Brown speaks with former Police Chief Shawny Williams at Williams’ swearing-in ceremony on Nov. 12, 2019 in Vallejo, Calif. Credit: Geoffrey King / Open Vallejo

The national headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sent a letter to former Councilmember Hakeem Brown Wednesday, ordering him to drop his claim that he leads the Vallejo branch of the organization.

“You have been informed unequivocally that you are not the President of the Vallejo Branch,” the letter, written by NAACP General Counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace, read. “You are hereby instructed to cease and desist from holding yourself out as the President of the Vallejo Branch or otherwise interfering with actions taken by” Vallejo NAACP President Patricia Hunter.

Neither Brown nor the local or national chapters of the NAACP immediately responded to requests for comment.

The letter warned Brown that he could be expelled from the NAACP should he continue to hold himself out as the president of the local group.

Geoffrey King is the executive editor of Open Vallejo. Prior to founding Open Vallejo, Geoffrey worked as an attorney and journalist focused on free expression, open government, press freedom and privacy. He is a proud native of Vallejo, California.