Yates, The Next Steps
So. Where are we with the aftermath of protesters being evicted from office buildings they have occupied? Clearly, the Mayor of Carrboro has proven that it’s better to send in ice cream than SERT.
The powers-that-be in Chapel Hill may be moving in much the same direction. This past week has seen a flurry of media interviews, in which the Chapel Hill Town Manager and Chief of Police have admitted essentially, and at long last, that they got the use of SERT wrong, when evicting protesters from the Yates Building last November.
They have also released answers to 45 questions that had been put to them by the Chapel Hill Town Council’s Community Policing Advisory board (CPAB). I’m afraid those answers prove that there are still many more questions that need asking.
Chapel Hill Town Council have offered a passive web-site, where folks can submit their thoughts on the Yates incident. But what is still required is more active investigation.
The problem is that CPAB have already made clear that, as a fully volunteer organization, they have neither the time nor the resources to undertake such an investigation. But, perhaps, Jim Neal’s proposed Independent Review Commission could step in, and perform that function for CPAB?
CPAB and the Commission, working together, could then submit to the Town Council a final factual timeline of Yates, along with recommendations for changes to Policing policy going forward.
One of the recommendations would surely have to be greater citizen oversight of Policing policy and strategy in the future. Perhaps undertaken by CPAB? But a CPAB granted more independence and its own funding.
That’s my take.