We had reported about the Civil Service Review Board bill passed in the NC House a couple of weeks ago, and there have been various news stories about it since then. One article noted some expressed concern about the ability of the city manager to take action in the event of “excessive force” cases involving Greensboro police officers.
It turns out that other North Carolina cities have had civil service boards for a long while. Greensboro and Winston-Salem have not.
Greensboro is famous for its racial identity politics which is closely related to its corrupt machine politics. We have had two black PAC’s that endorse the mayor and other city council candidates, and get them elected. The local political culture relishes the ability to politicize the Greensboro Police Department and strike out at white officers when they have to respond to calls involving black criminals. It is bloodsport when they push to get these officers fired.
During a recent Greensboro City Council meeting, a resolution was offered to oppose the North Carolina House bill establishing the civil service review board. Interestingly, the vote was 5-3.
The three black council members present– Johnson, Hightower and Wells– voted to oppose the NC House civil service review board bill. The other black council member– Holston– was absent. Abuzuaiter and Hoffmann also opposed the state bill.
Yvonne Johnson, the Mayor Pro Tem, is a key part of our local machine politics because she has been a member of the Simkins PAC. She said she voted to oppose the state-mandated board because she wants the city to have its own board.
Johnson has served approximately 30 years on the city council. She has had three decades to push for such a board, but it never happened.
My understanding is that the NC Senate has yet to take action on this bill. Since it is a local bill, it becomes law if the Senate passes it. We shall see what happens.