Greensboro City Councilmember Justin Outling said that he doesn’t always agree with the District Attorney or with the actions of the police department.
However, he said that when he read the letter from Doug Henderson who was then Guilford County District Attorney to Police Chief Wayne Scott about the incident that resulted in the death of Marcus Deon Smith on Sept. 8, 2018 that he found it, “reasonable and well reasoned.”
He said, “Certainly his assessment is consistent with what many people think when they see the tape itself.”
Outling said, “The medical examiner’s report said that the death was at least in part due to the actions of the police.” But he added that the district attorney had given the entire incident a thorough investigation and came to the resolution that the police did not violate the law in their actions to restrain Smith.
Outling said the police department should be commended for being so open about the incident, releasing the officer worn camera videos as soon as it was legally possible and quickly making other information about the event available.
Outling said that when he viewed the body worn camera videos of the event, “I saw what most people saw. The police were certainly trying to help someone that was in a very bad position apparently because he took drugs. I can’t identify what they could have done any better from where I sit.”
But he added, “Everyone can view the video for themselves and come to their own conclusion on whether the police acted properly or not.”
Outling said, “The police are conducting their own investigation to further evaluate what if anything could have been done differently.”
Outling added, “I just don’t see what they could have done differently that would have resulted in a different outcome, if I did I would communicate that with the chief.”
Outling noted that when he did disagree with the actions of the police he was not hesitant to voice his concerns publicly. He noted that after the incident involving Dejuan Yourse, he insisted that the city take what action it could to ensure that the police officer involved could never be employed as a police officer in North Carolina again. And he added, “I’m proud of doing that.”
But he said, “I just don’t see it in this case.”