Many Greensboro citizens gathered at the City Council Chambers on August 16th, 2016, for the City Council Meeting to reject the proposed resolution that called for the City to invest 2 million dollars in police body-worn cameras. Local Leaders including Reverends, Nelson Johnson and C.J. Brinson from The Beloved Community Center, Rev. Ezekiel Ben-Israel with Trinity A.M.E Church, Rev. C. Bradley Hunt with New Light Baptist Church, Rev. Randall Keeney with St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, retired attorney Lewis Pitts, members of Queer People of Color Collective (QPOCC), Black Lives Matter, and many others took a stand voicing their disapproval of spending more money on body camera footage that the public cannot see and the failure to repeal House Bill 972 which prevents the City Council from releasing police body-worn camera footage to the public.
The majority of City Council Members showed a lack of discernment by ultimately voting for the purchase of additional police body worn cameras after debating the issue for over an hour. Three City Council Members opposed the majority voting “No” to spending 2 million dollars for footage unavailable to the public; they were all African American. The City Council’s decision not to reject House Bill 972 not only strips the council of their right to self-govern but it also denies the citizens of Greensboro their duty to exercise their democratic right of self-governance. This is an indication that the majority of the City Council has no intentions of serving the interest of the public and little understanding of the systemic culture of racism that exists within the Greensboro Police Department. We are in a dangerous moment in history where our rights are being taken away on the local, state and national levels. It is crucial that Greensboro citizens get radical about the City Council elections in November 2017 and put candidates in office who have the bold leadership required for this period that is so characterized by racial, economic and social inequities. We must continue with our fight until our victory is won!