Watching the inner workings of the Chapel Hill Town Government has been an education. I’ve learned how an unwarranted, dangerous SERT unit deployed at the scene of a mere misdemeanor can turn into a two-month long effort by the Mayor, certain members of the Town Council, the Town Manager, and the Police Chief to prevent the real facts of that weekend from surfacing.
I want to thank the Community Policing Advisory Committee for rising to the occasion in a way that our elected officials could not. And I want to reiterate my thanks and support for Councilmembers Easthom and Storrow – they stuck to their conscience and did not let political pressure corrupt their good intentions. As the four silent protesters made known during Monday night’s meeting, we in the community will not forget the decisions this Council has made, and who made them.
It’s important to note that it’s not the legality of the Yates building’s occupation that’s in question, or whether one is for or against the law enforcement – it’s the militarized response to this occupation, and the resulting obstruction of truth by the government, that I and many others have been protesting.
I’m well beyond disappointment at the Council’s decision to refer, and inevitably reject, the request for an independent investigation by the committee which they appointed. It is the ultimate irony that this committee, to the Council’s surprise, proposed the very same independent investigation that Jim Neal had brought to them in November.
Hardly anyone, aside from Ms. Easthom and Mr. Storrow, so much as acknowledged the many statements we gave Monday night that indicated pro bono and private funding are both viable options for making this investigation a financial possibility.
Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman wrote a moving piece for the Carrboro Citizen, and concludes it with a relevant statement, that when citizens demand justice, elected officials are sworn to uphold the laws of the state that are often designed, in the interest of wealth and power, to sustain those very injustices. But as moral beings, they have an obligation to find a way to support the cause of justice despite such limitations. I wish more members on the Chapel Hill Town Council had stronger moral fiber, and had advocated for truth, justice, and transparency instead of a desperate and increasingly convoluted cover-up.
The facts will indeed surface, in a lawsuit, but this may take time. In the interim, I’m going to keep criticizing the government’s complete irresponsibility and ineptitude, and make sure the silenced voices are heard.