Sunday, October 23, 2016

Susan Ladd on Greensboro City Council's "cover-up" of illegal closed session vote on Police records

Greensboro's City Council and Jim Westmoreland destroyed Charlotte Jackson's career
by illegally releasing her personnel information to the public

"Stonewalling on Cole investigation deepens mistrust"

...When made aware of the incident, the council’s reaction was outrage, and rightly so.

With the support of Westmoreland and Police Chief Wayne Scott, [City Council] voted to release police body camera footage of the incident and “all disciplinary actions and personnel actions related to GPD’s interaction with Yourse,” finding it “essential to maintain public confidence.”

William Hill, attorney for the Police Association 
said the city violated NC Personnel Privacy Act, 
committing a misdemeanor by releasing Jackson’s portion of the video.

“It’s a misdemeanor to release anything from a personnel file
 without the consent of a person. 

She did not consent. 

Without a court order or without certain finding being made. 

None of that happened, “said Hill. 
“With this being blasted all over the news, it violated her due process rights.”

...When the incident first was disclosed on Sept. 20, and when the footage was aired publicly a week later, Councilwoman Sharon Hightower asked for all the records from the investigation.

Cole tried to question Yourse about any outstanding warrants which Yourse responded, “not that I know of.”

Mr. Yourse also stated he is not afraid to go back to prison

After Yourse was in custody, 
Cole and Jackson discovered two active warrants for his arrest. 

Greensboro Police Officers Association

...Community anger and frustration spilled over at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, when Hightower revealed that her request to see the investigative files was denied by a “consensus” of the council in a closed session.

The [Greensboro Police Officers Association]
claims the context of the video was twisted by the council.


...People who had come to repeat their request for more information on the 42-day investigation stood, shouted and jeered.

Not that I blame them for doing so, but some of the folks who objected 
were/are probably agitating to cause a nationally covered event 
for the causes they represent, which could bring a good bit of chaos to Greensboro.

...why was this a matter for closed session? Council members weren’t discussing a personnel matter; they were discussing whether a council member should be allowed to see investigative records related to a personnel matter involving a former employee.

The state’s open meetings law 
prohibits the council from taking votes in private.

Margaret Moffett 

The discussion should have taken place in open session with a legitimate vote.


Consensus, by the way, means agreement.

So why not just say "vote" Susan?

Is someone trying to imply a "consensus" was legal
and a vote would have been illegal?

Did Hightower say "consensus"?

According to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, she, Hightower, Yvonne Johnson and Jamal Fox were the only council members in favor of Hightower’s request, which means that Mike Barber, Justin Outling, Nancy Hoffmann, Tony Wilkins and Marikay Abuzuaiter were not in favor.

The state’s open meetings law 
prohibits the council from taking votes in private.

Margaret Moffett

That’s a 5-4 vote, not a consensus.

Agreed, so what's the bit about "consensus"?

Did Hightower say the vote was a "consensus"
to prevent the closed session vote from being determined illegal?

Why not say the closed session vote was illegal
like Margaret?

...what was their basis for denying Hightower, or any other member of council, the opportunity to see the records?

Yourse is heard yelling several times 
that he was not resisting and at one point turned to Jackson 
and told her “you better not lie for him,” referring to Cole.


A few months ago, Wilkins asked during a public council meeting to see the personnel file of former Police Chief David Wray, and he was granted that request.

Good point, but Tony didn't leak the information to anyone, 
and it appears Sharon Hightower is informing Nelson Johnson's crowd 
of confidential information, which may have led to the resignation of Charlotte Jackson

...“That’s why I felt she should be able to see the file,” Vaughan said during a break in the meeting. “It would have been consistent to address this in the same way. I think council should have the ability to review sensitive documents because we set policy.

It was also discovered Yourse was charged
with breaking and entering into his mother’s house, 
2 Mistywood Court, twice in the past.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan expressed her disdain for the video after it was shown, 
calling it “brutal” and apologizing to Yourse.

How can we do that and arrive at the right decision if we aren’t seeing all the information?”

Agreed, but the information would probably have been leaked by Hightower.

...the community is right to question exactly how that process unfolded and whether there was any attempt by any member of the department to minimize or dismiss this matter.

As for the association’s claims that the council broke the law
in releasing Jackson’s video, 
Hightower responded “Seven of us voted for it.


...A wholesale release of names could lead to a rush to judgment of the officers involved before it’s clear whether they acted properly.

Which already happened with the illegal body camera release
which Susan doesn't address.

Pulling back on their promise to release the information — even to one of their members — and trying to hide that decision in a closed meeting inflames suspicion of a cover-up.

Greensboro's City Council and Jim Westmoreland destroyed Charlotte Jackson's career
by illegally releasing her personnel information to the public

Greensboro Police Officers Association on Greensboro's City Council, Charlotte Jackson and Travis Cole

Greensboro City Council accused of breaking the law by releasing body cam footage

Billy Jones; "What Greensboro Didn't Tell You About Dejuan Yourse

I have it on good authority that as of this afternoon, Greensboro Police Captain James Hinson called Greensboro Police Officer CN Jackson-- seen  in the video below-- demanding her immediate resignation under threat of being fired for her part in the incident in the video.

...The assault of  Dejuan Yourse by Officer Travis Cole was wrong and the City of Greensboro has already paid Mr Yourse a cash settlement despite the fact that Mr Yourse's mother had a restraining order against her son to keep him away from her home.

...Captain Hinson needs to explain himself and explain to the public why he is demanding officer Jackson leave the Greensboro Police Department."

Greensboro's City Council and Jim Westmoreland destroyed Charlotte Jackson's career
by illegally releasing her personnel information to the public

Greensboro Police Officer Charlotte Jackson in the video below:

The Greensboro City Council held a special meeting yesterday followed by a press conference and posted the meeting online in 3 parts.

Roch Smith Jr.; "Greensboro police body cam video shows officer attacking man

...Council members Tony Wilkins and Mike Barber were the only two representatives who voted against releasing the video."

Roch Smith Jr.; "Guilford County District Attorney Howard Nuemann decided charging Cole would be “inappropriate” according to a memo from Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers to city council members."

Adding To Roch's Pile: Part 13