A couple of recent arrests indicate that letting Nelson Johnson of the Beloved Community Center run the Greensboro City Council was probably not a good idea.
Two men, who Johnson maintained were previously mistreated by the Greensboro police, were arrested by the Greensboro police in the last week.
Rufus Scales was arrested 4:34 a.m. Sunday morning and charged with first-degree breaking and entering, felony larceny and conspiracy to commit breaking and entering.
First-degree breaking and entering involves breaking into an occupied dwelling and is a more serious crime than simple breaking and entering. If convicted, Scales would be facing 38 months to 160 months in prison for that crime alone.
According to the police report, Scales was arrested when police responded to a call reporting that some of the occupants of 707 Q Milton St. arrived home to find three people in their house while others members of the household were in the home asleep. The three suspects reportedly ran, but police caught Scales.
Scales in August 2014 was arrested by former Greensboro Police Officer Travis Cole in Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and charged with impeding traffic, being intoxicated and disruptive and resisting arrest. Scales’ brother, Devin Scales, who was also arrested for impeding traffic, videotaped Rufus Scales on the ground being handcuffed and the video went viral.
Johnson took the arrest on as a cause and the Greensboro City Council eventually agreed to pay Scales and his brother $25,000 each, and they agreed not to pursue a lawsuit against the city. The charges against the Scales brothers were dropped.
City Manager Jim Westmoreland also apologized to the Scales brothers on behalf of the city.
Dejuan Yourse was also arrested by Greensboro police last week for failure to appear in court.
Yourse became another of Johnson’s causes after he was arrested by Cole on his mother’s front porch, where he said he was waiting for her to get home and give him some money. Neighbors had reported he was trying to break in the house, which is why police responded.
Often not reported is that when police were investigating a previous break in at Yourse’s mother’s house, his mother listed her son as a possible suspect, or the fact that he had outstanding warrants against him when he was sitting on his mother’s porch.
Yourse admitted to Cole that he had put a shovel under the garage door and explained he did so because he was looking to see if his dog was inside. He never explained how putting a shovel under the door would help him discover if the dog was in the garage. He also at first told Cole that he lived in the house and then, on further questioning, admitted that he did not live there but visited every day.
At the time of Scales arrest in 2014 and the arrest of Yourse last year, other police officers stated that both arrests were handled properly. Bill Hill, the attorney for the Greensboro Police Officers Association, wrote a scathing press release, calling the investigation of Yourse’s arrest a “politically motivated witch hunt.”
It turns out that the police may know a bad guy when they see one.
The Scales brothers were walking in the middle Martin Luther King Jr. Drive when Cole ordered them to get out of the street. They refused, which led to their arrest.
In the Yourse case, because of Johnson’s involvement, the video of Yourse being arrested was released to the public. During the police internal investigation of the arrest of Yourse by Cole and Officer C. Jackson, both officers resigned from the Greensboro Police Department.
Johnson and his people are still demanding that all the information about the internal police investigation of the Yourse arrest be released to the public, but the City Council voted not to release the documents that are considered part of the officers’ personnel files and are not public records.
After Rufus Scales received his $25,000 from the city, he was quoted as saying he planned to use the money to start a lawn care business. From his actions Sunday morning, one might assume the business is not going well, and it will be tough for him to operate if he is convicted of the charges filed against him.