A dozen red roses to Dave Hare for the fine editorial in Sunday, January sixteen’s Chapel Hill News. Unless you are living under a rock, you have already heard about what happened on November 13… and now followed by Manager Stancil’s recent report which Mr. Hart calls disappointing. Hart notes that the police were acting on poor intelligence, had made only cursory attempts to learn who the occupiers were and failed to clear the area of passer-by before police action armed with body armor and assault weapons.
Hart adds “Given that the police went in with body armor and heavy artillery… to round up a handful of bookish anti-capitalists with anything more than a solitary nonviolent misdemeanor… that is an astonishing conclusion… no feasible alternative to brandishing loaded assault rifles while families strolled nearby on west Franklin Street, really?
While the Chapel Hill Police Department has generally operated within sensible standards in our town, there is a clear discrepancy in what the Manager has concluded and what has happened.
The Chapel Hill Town Council, while finally apologizing to the News & Observer for their reporter’s arrest, decided not to appoint a requested independent investigator. They did refer this to their appointed and volunteer Police Advisory Committee (PAC). At their recent meeting the PAC has asked the Town Council which will meet on Monday January 23 to appoint an investigator.
The Chapel Hill News reports quotes PAC member Jessica Smith “ We will need the Council to pay for this. It won’t be cheap.” PAC member Kevin Hicks “We don’t have facts from the other side of the coin. It’s a weak report” and Chair Ron Bogle “The challenge for us is to determine what actually happened in this community. If they want us to do the job, they have to give us the tools.”
So mark your calendar for the evening of January 23 and come to the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting and see what will happen next.