Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dishonesty reigns by Roch Smith jr

Below is an e-mail that was sent this morning from Roch Smith jr, owner of, to Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan and the Greensboro City Council concerning my efforts to get the City of Greensboro to release video of Zack Methany's arrest.. I decided to publish it as a letter to the editor as Roch didn't tell me to keep it to myself. It will be followed with screen grabs to prove its validity.

There are the known recipients of the e-mail:

Billy Jones ,
Sharon Hightower ,
Jeffrey Sykes ,
"Carter, Katherine" ,
"Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor)" ,
"Wilkins, Tony" ,
Justin Outling ,
"Abuzuaiter, Marikay" ,
"" ,
Mike Barber ,
"" ,
"Hoffmann, Nancy" ,
Lewis Pitts ,
"Moffett, Margaret" ,
Allen Johnson

And the e-mail itself:

"Dishonesty reigns

Dear City Council People,

The city wrote the following to Billy Jones regarding his request for police body camera footage.

"To further clarify the City’s position: Body Worn Camera recordings are not a public record.  Until House Bill 972 goes into effect on October 1, 2016, the City operates under the Body Worn Camera Policy adopted by City Council on May 9, 2016."

This is a bogus excuse. The policy the city adopted said this:

"This policy shall only be effective upon a Court of competent jurisdiction ruling upon its legality."

There has been no such ruling, yet the city is telling a citizen the policy is in place. Do you people have no shame? Are you asleep? Do you have no reaction to yet another misrepresentation made to the public on this issue? Seriously, something is terribly wrong here, it must either be gross incompetence or a supreme contempt for honesty.

It's disgusting. Confront the city's actions on these cameras and tell us you've dealt straight with citizens:

1. Eight of the current nine current council members approved initial use of these cameras as a means for "public accountability and transparency." That turned out to be false and yet, even when clear there would be no public accountability, seven of you went ahead and approved $2 million to maintain these cameras for another five years -- given your stamp of approval to a public betrayal.

2. The public was told council was to take up a policy governing these cameras on March 24th. Instead, at a meeting on March 9th, where the policy was not on the agenda, Jamal Fox and Nancy Hoffman moved for the adoption of a policy no council person had yet read.The mayor refused to allow public comment on the policy before its adoption (and joked before returning to public session, that council members could convene in the bathroom if they wanted to talk about it contrary to N.C. open meetings law.)

3. Although the policy clearly states it shall not be effective until it has been ruled on by a court, city staff is telling the public it is in effect even without such a court ruling, and using that lie to deny access to camera footage.

Lies, lies, lies. Yet, you all just sit quietly.


-- Roch"

I can smell more law suits in the making.Lots of them. And a whole bunch of people that you thought might be running for Mayor that won't be.

Greensboro's elected leaders and high ranking staff lie to myself and others on a regular basis. Only this time it's Roch, instead of myself, calling them on it.