The Greensboro City Council gave in to mob rule at its town hall meeting on Monday, April 1, and all but agreed to launch another investigation into the Sept. 8, 2018 death of Marcus Deon Smith.
For months a relatively small, unruly group –made up of many of the same people who last year protested for months about the panhandling ordinance – have been disrupting City Council meetings with protests about Smith, who died after being restrained by police. The State Bureau of Investigation investigated Smith’s death and the Guilford County district attorney determined that no charges should be brought.
According to the autopsy report, one of the contributing factors that resulted in Smith’s death from cardiac arrest was the restraints placed on Smith by police in preparation to transport him to the hospital, but other contributing factors included “n-ethylpentalone, cocaine and alcohol use; and hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”
The police body cam videos of Smith’s interaction with police have been released. In those, Smith appears to be extremely agitated and disoriented and is running in and out of traffic on Church Street. At one point police convince Smith to get into the back of a police car; Smith is completely unrestrained. However, Smith becomes agitated in the back of the car and starts beating on the windows. The police remove him from the back of the car and attempt to restrain him so he can be transported to the hospital. When the restraints are in place, Smith stops breathing and the restraints are removed. Smith receives CPR and is transported to Cone Hospital. Smith never recovered consciousness and was pronounced dead in the emergency department.
The group protesting have repeatedly demanded that Police Chief Wayne Scott be fired because the initial press release sent out by the Police Department about Smith’s death is inaccurate.
First, this assumes incorrectly that the Greensboro police chief writes the press releases for the Greensboro Police Department and, second, that a press release is some kind of official legal document that is required to be accurate. It is absurd to think that Scott writes the press releases for the department, but it is equally absurd to demand that anyone should be fired because a press release about an ongoing situation was inaccurate. When the first press release went out, the authorities didn’t know the identity of the person who had died.
But the Greensboro City Council has given in to these protestors and has all but promised to launch another independent investigation of Smith’s death.
What this proves is that you can get anything you want from the Greensboro City Council if you are willing to disrupt a few meetings by shouting, making a lot of noise and generally making a nuisance of yourself during the meeting. If you stand up and yell at the City Council a few times from the audience, you can probably get what you want quicker.
At the meeting on Monday night, Councilmember Michelle Kennedy made the motion that the City Council have an independent agency investigate the Smith’s death. City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson seconded the motion. Because the City Council does not vote on motions at its town hall meeting, no vote was taken, but Mayor Nancy Vaughan promised that there would be a vote at the next regular meeting of the City Council on April 16.
No one on the City Council spoke against launching an independent investigation. This is the second year in a row that this same group had taken over the City Council. Last year it was about the panhandling ordinance and this year it is Smith.
An independent investigation? Isn’t that was the DA’s office did and the SBI and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner? Who do they want to do it?
It is just typical MOB mentality. Our City Council and Mayor are spineless. If this had been a white male, nothing would have been said. But, by ALL means, let us worry about a DRUGGED UP, combative, danger to himself and others, black male, with heart problems. What happened to supporting those that PROTECT US, not the criminal?
This is what happens when you have a totally incompetent group of council members. None of these people have the backbone to have these people escorted out of the meetings so that the business of the city can proceed in a civil fashion. The mayor has made no attempt at control and will continue to provide little leadership. I hope that the voters will turn this council out on their heels come election time.
If I had been there (and I wanted to be but I’m not a city resident) I would have told this rabble group, “Get Over It” (the Eagles).
You missed the best part. Justin Outling got sick of the continuing nonsense, grabbed his folder, and peaced out of the meeting never to return.
Those of us that care have seen the video . The police did everything in their power to help him but to give him an ice cream cone . I am sorry that he died after taking cocaine and other drugs along with having a bad heart. Time to move on , this has been investigated and no fault was found except for his own self afflicted wounds .
I use to come to the meetings more often but I can’t sit there and listen to low informed people shouting and disrupting those they disagree with. Something needs to be done now, don’t wait any longer.
This is what happens when you don’t vote. I really don’t care what happens anymore and they will waste more tax dollars but again don’t care. The investigation will do nothing because the DA already said no charges and that makes it pointless to have, but go waste money because I don’t care anymore. The people vote in council so the people should stop complaining because they will vote them in again.
What these people really want is money. The city council gave another criminal ninety-five thousand dollars and they want money too. The city council dose not know what a budget is. They keep spending and giving away money at record amounts even though we have a deficit. And when tax time comes around they will get all of us citizens.
Lets hope they don’t vote themselves another raise or vote to extend their term in office before they are votes out. What did we expect electing all women to the council without at least one while man. What a disgrace to our town.