The Carrboro Police Department has hired a consultant to review a 2014 report that found evidence of racial bias in the department’s policing. Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton made the announcement at a public forum held Monday night.
Concerns about racial profiling in the Carrboro Police Department came to the fore after UNC-Chapel Hill professor Frank Baumgartner released a report last year showing that in Carrboro, black and Latino drivers were more likely than white drivers to be stopped and searched. The police department held a forum to discuss racial profiling last fall. Chief Horton says the department has taken several recommendations that came out of last year’s forum, including racial equity training.
“We have sent all our officers to seek training,” Horton said. “We have trained all our officers since then. We will periodically do that training over, and all new officers that come in will receive that training.”
But Horton says his department saw a few red flags suggesting some of the data Baumgartner analyzed may not have been compiled correctly. The department has hired NC State professor Deborah Weisel to help review the department’s data and the Baumgartner report for errors.
“If we got a problem, we got a problem,” Horton said. “Whether it’s your data or Dr. Weisel’s data. And we’ll do what we can to fix it. That’s the bottom line. If there is an issue, which you say there is. We just want to make sure.”
Baumgartner, who was at the forum, says even if there are minor errors, he believes the overall conclusion of the report is accurate and also consistent with trends across the state and the nation.
“I understand that it makes anyone in the position of authority uncomfortable to have these numbers put in front of them because they seem to suggest a responsibility and a problem,” Baumgartner said. “But what I would just ask and plead for on behalf of everybody is, please don’t feel defensive about it. Carrboro is not the only agency with racial disparities in traffic stops and people who get searched. It’s a nation-wide issue.”
Community members attending the forum had many ideas for improving the fairness of policing in Carrboro. The creation of a civilian-led advisory board to oversee the department was one idea that got a lot of discussion—and a lot of push-back from police officers, like officer David Deshaies.
“It quite frankly terrifies that someone taking a 40-hour class is going to make decisions sitting in an air-conditioned room on whether I keep my job or not,” Deshaies said. “They’ve never been there, they’ve never even done a ride-a-long, ridden for one shift, even a few hours of one shift, to see what happens and what it looks like from the seat of that car.”
Town Alderman Sammy Slade signaled interest in discussing the idea at future town meetings.
“I think there’s a lot of rich exploration and a good conversation that could come about from engaging in that kind of discussion,” he said.
Chief Horton says his department will take time to consider the recommendations made in the forum, but that many suggestions require staffing and resources the department doesn’t have.http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/carrboro-police-to-conduct-own-review-of-racial-profiling-report/
Shots were fired at a Durham police investigator around noon on Wednesday, and CrimeStoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in the incident.
Police say an investigator was driving an unmarked police vehicle on South Street when numerous shots were fired from a car on Bond Street. One bullet struck the officer’s car, but the officer was not injured.
Investigators believe the shots were fired from an older model gray sedan with tinted windows. The vehicle was possibly a Nissan. The vehicle was occupied by two black males wearing blue and black jackets. Investigators believe both occupants fired shots during the incident.
It appears that the unmarked car was deliberately targeted, according to investigators.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator K. Emanuel at (919) 560-4415, ext. 29306 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/shots-fired-durham-pd-vehicle/
‘Tis the season of giving; and some local law enforcement got into the holiday spirit earlier this month with some elementary school children in the community.
Morris Grove Elementary School Principal Amy Rickard says she was approached by Carrboro Police to see if students would be interested in a field trip – a trip to the store to “Shop with a Cop.”
“We had 19 students who were able to go on the field trip,” she says. “And five different police department organizations – the Carrboro Police Department, Chapel Hill Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Campus Police, and the Hospital Police.”
Rickard says the list of children chosen to participate was determined by the school’s social worker, and that the children went shopping with the off-duty officers at the Walmart in Hillsborough.
“The Chapel Hill Optimist Club donated a $75 gift card for every child,” she says. “We spent a little more than an hour at the Walmart, and they got to shop with their cop.”
Rickard adds that seeing the smiles on the children’s faces was a wonderful moment and the effects lingered around the school.
“They were very excited. Most of them (went) around (for days) wearing their police badges that they gave them,” she says.
Rickard calls the experience one of the best field trips that she’s ever been on.
She says there were no rules about the purchases the children could make and many of them bought items for their siblings – in addition to an item or two for themselves.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/elementary-schoolers-shop-cop/
The Hillsborough Police Department is seeking your help in finding two suspects in an armed robbery that took place Sunday afternoon at the Hampton Pointe Apartments.
The full statement from Hillsborough Police is below:
SEEKING INFORMATION – The Hillsborough Police Departments Criminal Investigations Division is seeking assistance from the community in identifying two subjects involved in an armed robbery at the Hampton Pointe Apartments on Sunday, November 16, between 4:00pm – 4:30pm. The subjects were described as two (2) black males wearing dark colored clothing and were last seen running towards I-85 North near exit 165.
If you or someone you know has information pertaining to this case, please contact Sergeant S. Nicolaysen at (919) 732-9381 x30 or submit an anonymous tip via:
A Chapel Hill man who went missing earlier this week has been found dead in Morrisville.
Raymond Huntington was 57 years old. Multiple media outlets report that Morrisville police found his body in the parking lot of the outlet mall on Airport Boulevard.
No cause of death has been released, but police say they do not suspect foul play.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-news/missing-chapel-hill-man-57-found-dead/
Carrboro police are seeking your help as they investigate a shooting incident that took place in the parking lot of 601 Jones Ferry Road at around 7:30 Thursday evening.
“We do not believe there are any injuries from the shooting,” says Captain Chris Atack of the Carrboro PD, “but evidence recovered from the scene corroborates the reports of witnesses that there were shots in the area.”
Police have interviewed several witnesses, but Atack says given the time of day it took place, it’s likely there were others who saw or heard things as well.
“We’re just asking anybody who saw anything, heard anything, or knows anything about this incident to give us or Crime Stoppers a call,” he says.
If you have information, call the Carrboro Police Department at 919-918-7397, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/shooting-jones-ferry-thurs-night-injuries/
An odd case in Chapel Hill earlier this week, as a mugger robbed a man of 160 dollars at knifepoint – but ended up giving all the money back.
The incident took place at 12:30 Tuesday morning, near the intersection of Columbia and Caldwell Streets in the Northside neighborhood.
“A gentleman was walking in that area, and someone approached him and pulled a knife and demanded his money,” says Chapel Hill Police Sgt. Bryan Walker. “When he gave the person the money, the suspect began to run away – and the victim chased him as he called 911.
“The suspect stopped, gave him his money back, and then left the scene.”
Sgt. Walker says it’s a good thing that everything ended well in this case – though in general, it’s probably not the best idea to chase after an armed robber.
“We certainly wouldn’t encourage anyone else in that situation to handle it the same way that this victim did – we wouldn’t suggest that someone chase a suspect that has just threatened you with a weapon,” Walker says. “But in this case, it didn’t result in a terrible outcome.”
The would-be victim who chased after the mugger is a 35-year-old Northside resident.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-man-gets-money-back/
Story updated September 23, 2014, 6:54 a.m.
Joint efforts of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police departments led to the speedy recovery of a stolen car Sunday night, along with the arrest of two young car thieves.
Chapel Hill Police Public Information Sergeant Brian Walker says employees at the valet stand at 450 West Franklin Street near Carolina Brewery noticed multiple car keys missing just before 10:00 p.m.
“Officers checked the parking lot where the vehicles are kept,” Sgt. Walker says. “One of the vehicles whose keys had been taken had also been taken. It was a 2013 BMW 528i.”
He says officers immediately put out a BOLO (Be on the Lookout), which notifies all nearby agencies of the incident.
“Within just an hour or two, (the) Carrboro Police Department encountered that vehicle inside Carrboro,” Sgt. Walker says. “When they attempted to stop the vehicle, the two gentlemen inside the vehicle jumped from the vehicle and fled. They were taken into custody shortly after that by Carrboro and Chapel Hill officers.”
Sgt. Walker says the car was not damaged, according to the report.
Jesse Mutua, 19, of Carrboro and Raekwon Ortiz Snipes, 18, of Chapel Hill were arrested. They were each charged with three misdemeanor counts of larceny and one felony count of motor vehicle theft. Sgt. Walker says the additional larceny charges were for other keys that were found in their possession, but no other vehicles were reported missing.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, this is the third time Mutua has been arrested. He was previously charged with felony breaking and entering and larceny involving a motor vehicle in January of last year, as well as felony breaking and entering last December.
Each of the men arrested were held at Orange County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond. Their first appearance in court is scheduled for Monday at 2:00 p.m.
Sgt. Walker says both police departments were proud of the speed at which this case was resolved.
“Carrboro Police and our officers, we might wear different uniforms, but we have the same goal,” Sgt. Walker says. “That’s exactly what this was. This was good teamwork that resulted in an excellent outcome in this case.”http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chpd-cpd-quickly-nab-young-carjackers/
Story originally posted September 5, 2014, 6:33 a.m.
Police agencies from Orange, Durham, and Wake counties continue their search for two men considered armed and dangerous after they fled from a reported home invasion in Orange County early Friday morning.
The Orange County Sheriff’s department released a statement Friday morning that said deputies responded to a home in the eastern part of the county at 4820 Pleasant Green Road near U.S. Highway 70. Two black males reportedly invaded the home holding firearms and demanding money from the occupants. One of the home’s occupants was forced into the residence from the front yard, according to the release. It also states that one person was later forced back out of the home and kicked repeatedly, but no shots were fired and no one else was injured.
When deputies arrived, they reportedly found the men fleeing in a gold-colored vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by officers and the driver and passenger both put their arms out the window, but when officers tried to approach, the driver sped off.
After a 20-mile chase, they ended at a shopping center on Carrington Mills Road in Morrisville. They left the vehicle and ran into a wooded area near the shopping center. Orange County deputies, Durham and Morrisville police officers, and State Troopers–with help from a K-9 unit–all assisted in the unsuccessful attempt to locate the suspects.
Evidence was recovered at the scene where the car was discarded and is being processed while the investigation is ongoing, according to the Orange County Sheriff.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 919-644-3050, or you may email Sergeant Clark at email@example.com://chapelboro.com/news/crime/oc-home-invasion-leads-20-mile-chase-wanted-suspects/
3:39 p.m. update: Carrboro Police Captain Chris Atack said in a release that the investigation was concluded without any charges filed against the driver. The identity of the victim was still not being released, and his condition was unknown.
Story originally posted August 29, 2014, 10:22 a.m.
A pedestrian was sent to the hospital with possible life-threatening injuries Thursday night after being struck by a vehicle on Jones Ferry Road near Davie Road.
“The driver was going the posted speed limit and was driving appropriately,” says Carrboro Police Captain Chris Atack. “At this point, we don’t have any charges.”
The incident took place at around 11:20 p.m. Thursday.
As of Friday morning, Cpt. Atack says the condition of the pedestrian was unknown.
“We didn’t have exact information on the scene of the identity of the victim,” Cpt Atack says. “We’re reasonably confident that at this point we have the person identified, but we’re still trying to confirm that.”
Cpt. Atack says if anyone has additional information about the incident, please call the Carrboro Police Department at 919-918-7397.http://chapelboro.com/news/traffic/pedestrian-struck-carrboro/