Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jordan Green on Cherry, Bellamy, Young and Johnson

These are excerpts of an article written by Jordan Green at Yes Weekly,
which contains many other aspects of Greensboro’s Police and political situation.

Please read for Jordan’s full take, for this is what I found interesting,
which may not be what you do.

Even though Jordan and I have quite a few philosophical differences,
most of which make perfect sense considering our different backgrounds,
I have found him to be one of the most honest people I have ever met,
and courageous to the point of personal sacrifice for the common good.

Not bad for a Christian.

George Hartzman

"Pronouncements of confidence in the city’s police department made by Greensboro leaders buttress a flimsy illusion of accountability that hides a dismaying reality of unfair and arbitrary administration, and impunity and reaction against dissent.

Refusal by police leadership and city officials to acknowledge discriminatory acts has resulted in a pattern of treatment that appears to constitute retaliation and harassment against officers filing grievances.

Fed by public passions and political pressure, department employees up and down the chain of command have demonstrated a pattern of persecution...

City Manager Rashad Young has insulated himself from a flurry of grievances alleging discrimination, intimidation and retaliation by delegating authority...

...The city manager has vigorously objected to any intimation that the police department is troubled.

“Generally, your questions assume a context that I don’t believe to be accurate,” Young said in an e-mailed response to a series of inquiries from YES! Weekly.

...Most, if not all of the grievances that have risen to the level of the city manager have benefited from the assistance and protocol expertise of Capt. Charles Cherry, who commanded the Eastern patrol division up until June 7, when he was placed on administrative leave...

...Cherry is also a plaintiff in the federal discrimination lawsuit. “He is a command-level officer, 23 years of excellent service, rated a Level 4 in April,” [the Rev. Nelson] Johnson said. “And since April, somehow they are now alleging that he has gone crazy.”

...The reasons Cherry has been recommended for fitness-forduty evaluation are not entirely clear, but the pastors suspect the episode falls within a pattern of retaliation.

...Capt. Cherry filed a complaint against Bellamy alleging that after the May 12 NAACP press conference the chief stated in a command review meeting that if anyone in the room thought there was corruption in the department they could file their papers and “get the hell out.” The room reportedly erupted in applause. Cherry characterized the statement as intimidating, discriminatory, hostile and retaliatory.

...“The chief is expressing to folks that if they have such a lack of confidence in the department, then he has a problem with it,” [assistant city manager for public safety and human resources, Michael] Speedling said. “And we have a problem with it. He’s putting across that if you have that kind of firm belief that the department is corrupt, you need to back it up with facts. There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about that. We haven’t seen any evidence of corruption. He passionately believes the police department is a fine department that doesn’t have corruption in it, and he wants his senior staff to support the department.”

...Public opinion in Greensboro has largely resisted the notion that the police department suffers from systematic troubles that require bold intervention to correct. A key difference between this episode and an earlier and related outcry five years ago is that the chief today is black, while former Chief David Wray is white.

...“I think when you frame it as, ‘This individual couldn’t do this because this is racist and he’s black,’ that omits the very point we’re trying to make. This is a culture. It’s bigger than the chief. And the chief actually, obviously resisted it and fought against it until he became chief.”...the Rev. Johnson said...“To be very honest with you, many of the command-level officers are implicated in these, so it’s like a conspiracy within the department..."

Jordan Green
Yes Weekly
In the process of gaining our rightful place,
we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom
by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle
on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

Martin Luther King Junior

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