After the Tuesday, Sept. 3 City Council meeting it appears that at least some members of the Greensboro City Council are going to watch the police body worn camera videos from an incident downtown on Sept. 13, 2016, which they can’t talk about.
By state law, the City Council can only view police body worn camera videos if a Superior Court judge gives the City Council permission. In this case, the City Council asked for permission and North Carolina Superior Court Judge Susan Bray issued an order that the City Council could view the video but could not talk about it publicly.
The City Council reportedly reached a general consensus in closed session not to view the video and to appeal Bray’s decision. The state Court of Appeals upheld Bray’s decision to put restrictions on those viewing the video.
Months ago, Councilmember Sharon Hightower had said that she wanted to view the video and was told that because the City Council voted not to view the video she could not.
But on Tuesday, at the City Council meeting at the Public Safety Training Center on Church Street, after several speakers, including Zared Jones, who was one of the men arrested that night, spoke about the video, City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy said, “As a city councilmember at large, I would like to view the video.”
City Attorney Chuck Watts said that according to the judge’s order, Kennedy or any other member of the City Council could view the video subject to the restrictions of Judge Bray.
Kennedy said that she had wanted to see the video for some time.
Watts said, “Nobody has reached out to me about seeing it.”
Kennedy agreed that she had not asked to see the video.
Watts said that he had the documents that had to be signed before councilmembers could view the video, but it could all be set up for a single councilmember or a group of councilmembers.
Several other councilmembers also expressed interest in viewing the video.
In the discussion, Lewis Pitts, a former attorney who had spoken earlier about the case, refused to stop giving his legal opinions on the situation and was told by Mayor Nancy Vaughan several times to quit disrupting the meeting.
Finally Vaughan said, “Please remove him.”
Pitts responded, “I can leave without being removed.” And he left.