The hottest topic on the agenda for the Tuesday, April 16 City Council meeting will be tabled according to a press release from the City of Greensboro.
At the April 1 council meeting, City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy made a motion that the City Council authorize an independent investigation of the death of Marcus Deon Smith on Sept. 8, 2018.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson seconded the motion. However, the City Council has agreed not to take action at the first meeting of the month, which is a town hall meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to hear from the public, and the City Council, by consensus, has agreed not to make motions or vote on motions at those meetings.
In light of that policy, Kennedy said that she would not ask for a vote on her motion but would make a similar motion at the next business meeting of the City Council on Tuesday, April 16.
It appeared that the majority of the City Council was in favor of considering independent investigation of Smith’s death and, as a result, the first item on the agenda for the Tuesday, April 16 meeting is “Council Discussion for an Independent Review of the Marcus Smith incident.
On Wednesday, April 10, Mary and George Smith, the parents of Marcus Smith, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Greensboro, Guilford County, eight police officers and two Guilford County Emergency Medical Services paramedics.
Councilmember Justin Outling, who is an attorney with Brooks Pierce, said last week that because of the lawsuit, in his opinion it would be unwise to launch an independent investigation.
The April 16 press release states, “In light of the Smith family filing a lawsuit against the City of Greensboro, the City Council will table the discussion about the independent review.
Upon advisement from the city attorney, the City Council will allow this matter to follow the proper legal channels.”
On Sept. 8, 2018, Smith was running in and out of traffic on Church Street and behaving erratically. Police officers apprehended him and to restrain him so he could be transported to the hospital, used a Ripp Hobble restraint. Shortly after the restraint was in place, Smith stopped breathing. The restraints were removed and Smith was transported by EMS to Cone Hospital, but never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead.
The State Bureau of Investigation investigated the incident and the Guilford County district attorney cleared the police officers of any wrongdoing.