The Greensboro City Council gives a lot of lip service to being transparent.

But, as the recent events involving City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba prove, it’s all talk.

Fortunately, for the residents of Greensboro who are interested in what is going on in their city government, the City Council doesn’t have the last word.

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour has ordered that the body-worn camera (BWC) videos from the police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call at the home of Jaiyeoba on Dec. 28 be released to the public.

The News & Record had requested that the BWC videos be released to the public after the City of Greensboro had requested that the BWC videos be released for only Mayor Nancy Vaughan and the eight members of the City Council to view. The BWC videos were released and members of the Greensboro City Council viewed them and determined that there was nothing to see and that residents and taxpayers of Greensboro had no need to view the BWC videos.

In fact, the City Council was so adamant that the people of Greensboro should not be able to see the videos that attorneys from the city attorney’s office went to court and argued against the release of the BWC videos to the public.

It’s worth noting that the city attorney’s office is the only department in the City of Greensboro that does not report to City Manager Jaiyeoba. City Attorney Chuck Watts works directly for the City Council, just like Jaiyeoba. So it was the City Council fighting against transparency and the public’s right to know in this case.

The News & Record was represented in court by Mike Tadych of Stevens Martin Vaughan & Tadych, a firm that specializes in media and First Amendment law.

Also advocating for full release of the BWC videos was Amiel Rossabi, who represented the five Greensboro police officers who appear in the footage. Rossabi also represents the Greensboro Police Officers Association, which has a policy of advocating for full release of police BWC videos when a request is made.

Rossabi said, “We want it all released unedited to the public.”

Baddour has ordered the release of the BWC videos from Dec. 28, when police responded to 911 calls from Jaiyeoba’s home at 10 Postbridge Court, but not the release of the BWC videos of when two of Jaiyeoba’s daughters returned to the house to pick up their belongings.

On Jan. 23, the Rhino Times broke the story on the domestic disturbance at Jaiyeoba’s house, which occurred on Dec. 28, 2023, and the public information about what happened that night has been slowly released by the City of Greensboro.

The police report from the Dec. 28 event was withheld from the public for nearly a month, and the first public records request made by the Rhino Times was not fulfilled for over a week.

With the release of the BWC footage, the public will finally be able to see for themselves what happened on Dec. 28, 2023 at the home of the city manager.