After the meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8 where the City Council sat and listening to people accuse police officers of killing Marcus Deon Smith and covering it up, Councilmember Tammi Thurm said that she had a couple of points that she had planned to make during the council comment period usually held at the end of the meeting.
However, after the speakers from the floor, the City Council went into closed session and then adjourned. There was no council comment period.
Thurm said, “The point I wanted to make is that people are confusing a police report with a press release.”
She said, “Was it inaccurate? Yes it was but it was written right after the heat of the moment.” She noted that the press release came out only a couple of hours after Smith died at the hospital and had the information that was available at the time, but no investigation had been done because the event had just happened. No one had watched the police body camera videos, or done an investigation of the sequence of events.
She said, “To say that it was an intentional lie is unfair and inaccurate. They were doing the best they could in the heat of the moment to get the information out to the public.”
Thurm said, “We don’t even have to put out a press release. We do that in the interest of being transparent.”
She said, “A press release is not a police report and when people conflate the two and call it a police report they set up expectations that can’t possibly be met for accuracy.”
Thurm said in her opinion the City Council needed to produce a written report of what happened and what actions the city has taken.
And she added, “I don’t think its going to end up with the police chief being fired.”