Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bad News Greensboro Makes The New York Times

And once again the news ain't good. Those of us who have followed Greensboro in the national media for years pretty much agree it's always bad news when Greensboro becomes big news. And what hurts most is we're being outdone by Fayettenam:

"Fayetteville, N.C., drastically cut consent searches and largely eliminated the racial gap in search rates. Greensboro’s searches have dropped as well, but blacks are still far more likely to be searched."

There was a time when anyone would have thought lagging behind Fayetteville impossible.

I guess it's time city leaders scheduled a trip to Fayetteville. Seriously.

And so it is, yet one more reason to be added to the list of many reasons why Greensboro Sucks. Which, by the way, is now ranked #1 on Google.

Wow, if you're Mayor Nancy Barakak "Grasshopper" Vaughan that's really got to suck.

And then farther down we catch our new Police Chief lying to the New York Times:

"... Two years ago, Greensboro equipped all of its officers with body cameras and required them to film any searches. But those videotapes are confidential, too.

Chief Scott said he believed that if the state allowed the police to share them, at least with the citizens involved in the encounters, it would help dispel suspicions of racial profiling. “I am in favor of more transparency,” he said. “Numbers don’t say it all.”

But here's the thing, while the State of North Carolina does consider body camera videos to be confidential the officer wearing the camera has the legal right to make the video public if the officer chooses to do so. Now if any police officer has acted within the law then why wouldn't he or she make the video public to prove his or her own innocence?

As a matter of fact: According to the News & Observer:

"Under House Bill 713, which passed 115-2 Thursday, a law enforcement agency would have the discretion to release recordings if they serve a “public safety purpose,” Faircloth said in an interview. But they would not be considered public records. An officer would not be able to prevent release of recordings by claiming they are personnel records."

Now why would Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott risk getting caught lying in the New York Times? Could it be because they've got him by the balls?

Our Greensboro Police Officers are as good as if not better than police officers anywhere in the world. How they perform and how they do their jobs is determined by the policies and the people they must work under. It may well be our City Manager made a mistake in promoting Wayne Scott to the position of Chief of Police. How Chief Scott deals with this issue and the recent near fatal beating of Thomas Bynum and subsequent cover-up by his department will be his test.

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