Reading the Greensboro Police Department press release about the response to 911 calls from the home of City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba brings to mind a similar police response in the classic movie Casablanca.

In Casablanca, the police captain says, “I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” And then an employee walks up and says to the police captain, “Your winnings, sir.” Here is the link for those who want to refresh their memories.

I have to agree with the police captain, I am shocked, shocked to find out from the Greensboro Police Department that, when police responded to the call at the city manager’s house, everything was handled just like any other domestic disturbance 911 call in the city.

The truth is that the call to Jaiyeba’s home on Dec. 28 was not handled anything like a normal domestic disturbance 911 call in the City of Greensboro.

As city manager, Jaiyeoba is the direct superior to Police Chief John Thompson, which means Jaiyeoba has the authority to hire and fire the police chief.  So, when Jaiyeoba called Chief Thompson, it wasn’t simply a concerned citizen calling, it was Thompson’s boss.  Of course, as noted in the News & Record, most rank and file residents of Greensboro don’t have the cell phone number of the police chief.

The press release notes that Jaiyeoba didn’t ask for special treatment.  Whether that is true or not doesn’t matter because, by making the call to his employee Chief Thompson, Jaiyeoba was assured of receiving special treatment, and he did.

Thompson spoke to the responding officers and told them that the watch commander, the highest ranking police officer on duty, was on the way.

This is in no way the normal way of handling domestic disturbance 911 calls.

And the Police Department covered it up. According to the Police Department, a police report was filed but it was not made available to the public “due to the sensitive information within it.”  The sensitive information appears to be the name “Taiwo Jaiyeoba,” and perhaps the names of two of his daughters also listed as victims.

Lots of people whose names are in police reports would like to have that information withheld from the public, but that is not an option for the rank and file citizen. However, that is an option for the city manager, and the police report on the domestic disturbance incident was kept out of the public’s view for nearly a month.

Whether he specifically requested special treatment or not, Jaiyeoba, through his actions, made certain that he did receive special treatment because he is city manager.

It is up to the Greensboro City Council to decide if a two-tiered system of justice is what it wants for the City of Greensboro – one tier for the residents and taxpayers of Greensboro and one tier for senior city employees.  It is clear from his actions that a two-tiered system is what Jaiyeoba expects, but is it what his boss, the Greensboro City Council, wants?

Sadly, from the City Council’s actions or lack of action it appears this is also what the City Council wants for its employee, the city manager.

The very least the City Council should do is define who receives this special treatment.  Is it only available to the city manager or can assistant city managers expect the same special treatment?  What about department directors for the City of Greensboro?  Do they receive special treatment or will they be treated like the rest of the residents of Greensboro when it comes to police action? Will members of the City Council also receive this special treatment?

If we are going to have two sets of rules for police response, the residents of Greensboro have a right to know who is in that special treatment category.