I never thought it would come to this. The city of Greensboro has been grossly mishandling the Travis Cole matter over the last week. And Mayor Nancy Vaughan is making Robbie Perkins look good by comparison. That is saying an awful lot.
John Hammer from the Rhino Times was present at the circus-like city council meeting on Monday. The Rev. Nelson Johnson was seated in the audience. Hammer reports that Vaughan was receiving and responding to signals directed at her by Rev. Johnson.
The city council made a big fuss over releasing the video even though the involved officer had already resigned his position. There are problems with viewing such a video in a vacuum because it does not provide a total picture of all the visual and auditory cues the officer must consider. In addition, it fails to provide context. The release of such videos inflames public anger unnecessarily because critical information is not presented. This places police officers in a highly compromised position. It is inherently unfair to cops.
Marc Ridgill, in fact, helped provide context for this specific incident involving Cole. Ridgill makes all those who have been screaming for vengeance seem entirely ignorant.
Having videos from dash cams and body cameras was hailed as a major advance. But instead, they have opened a Pandora's box. They invite armchair quarterbacking with police officers' careers often hanging in the balance. And notwithstanding whatever happened in this case, the existence of the videos inevitably will make officers more reticent to defend themselves when necessary.
These police officers do dangerous work; and at this point it is difficult to see why any of them would want to try to do a conscientious job.
Billy Jones reported yesterday that the female officer involved was being pressured by Deputy Chief James Hinson to resign her position. Today, we learned that she did, in fact, resign. Some in the local black community apparently wanted her scalp. But it is unclear as to any wrongdoing she might have committed. (The very idea that Hinson is Deputy Chief is all you need to understand what Greensboro is all about.)
Meanwhile, our idiotic city council asked District Attorney Douglas Henderson to reconsider his handling of Cole's case; and he utterly refused even though he has been connected with the Simkins PAC. He had a lot more information at his disposal than the city council and the agitators. Council members want the officer charged as a criminal; and also are seeking to destroy his career.
The person who was "assaulted" by Officer Cole, by the way, had a fairly distinguished criminal record.
Nancy Vaughan is a reprehensible public servant. She is on the wrong side of nearly every important issue. She has no idea what she is doing-- even though she creates a great appearance. And she is emboldening the anti-police forces in Greensboro in a manner that we have never seen. She is taking it to a whole new level.
That is no minor achievement in a city like Greensboro.