A look back at the Beloved Community Center versus the GPD

by Ben Holder

Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland made the biggest hire of his career this week when he announced that Deputy Chief of Police Wayne Scott would be promoted to chief of police.The announcement was made via press release around 4pm Wednesday and it contained a statement of support for Scott. Westmoreland was quoted in the press release as saying, “Wayne’s overall vision for the department, significant police service and police leadership experience, familiarity with the department and community, and ideas and strategies to further strengthen police/community relations and to build trust, were all keys to his appointment. That experience will serve him well as he begins his new role and looks to move the department forward.” Scott and Danielle Outlaw were the final two applicants remaining for the position. Outlaw is a Deputy Chief of Police in Oakland, California.Before Scott had his first press conference as police chief, the Beloved Community Center held a protest to voice their displeasure about his hiring. It appears Scott will get to prove his community relations skills very early.The Beloved Community Center was going to hold a protest against the hiring of Scott as police chief once it was announced he was one of the two finalists. However, Scott was hired as chief before the Beloved Community Center’s protest was planned. As previously reported by YES! Weekly, salary amounts were an alleged obstacle when negotiations between Outlaw and the city took place. Outlaw currently makes more than Westmoreland and insiders reported she wasn’t willing to come to Greensboro for less than she currently made. Insiders also told YES! Weekly that the hiring of Scott would become problematic because he is white. Now, the city manager, the city attorney and the chief of police are white males.On the Beloved Community Center’s Facebook page they posted the following: “Officer Scott has a history of corruption and is a part of the old guard that is responsible for the lack of trust that exist between the community and the GPD. Its time to stay up as a community and call for the change we need! Meet us tomorrow and get on social media and spread the word! Contact The City Manager and tell him that Wayne Scott is the wrong choice to lead GPD!”During a press conference Thursday, Rev. Cardes Brown told those in attendance that Scott was too closely related to former Police Chief David Wray. This isn’t the first time the Beloved Community Center has voiced their displeasure with the police department. In July of 2006, they staged a protest against intolerable racism. The poster for the event contained several reasons the event was being held.One of the reasons was to protest a tracker that was placed on Deputy Chief Hinson’s patrol car. On June 3, 2005, after finding the tracker, Hinson claimed he was being targeted because of race. Former Greensboro Police Chief David Wray was the target of Hinson’s allegations. At the time the tracker was placed on Hinson’s car, he was a Lieutenant in the GPD. On February 1, 2005, a well-known drug dealer in Greensboro, Sean Watson, was indicted in federal court on charges of possessing and selling large amounts of cocaine.According to Jerry Bledsoe’s Cops in Black and White, on April 8, 2005, a DEA officer informed the Greensboro Police Department that during Watson’s investigation agents found that Hinson’s personal cell phone number had been saved in Watson’s phone contacts. That wasn’t the first time Hinson’s telephone numbers were found during investigations of major drug dealers.In 2008, the Beloved Community Center was involved in a press conference that claimed over 50 boxes of police files related to 1979 Greensboro Massacre had been destroyed during former Chief David Wray’s tenure. Shortly after the claim was made, an investigation by the Greensboro Police Department into the allegations found no evidence of wrongdoing by the Police Department.Former Police Chief Tim Bellamy reported that an investigation by the GPD’s Professional Standards Division found that, “Five to 10 boxes of newspaper clippings had been disposed of in late 2001 or early 2002, during former Chief Robert White’s administration. The boxes contained newspaper clippings related to the Klan-Nazi shootings, as well as clippings related to other subversive groups. The boxes did not contain any Police files related to the shootings.During the course of the internal inquiry, a box of the clippings was brought forward to the Professional Standards Division, and the contents were examined by the investigators and Chief Bellamy. The remaining box contained only newspaper clippings that addressed a variety of topics related to subversive groups.”In 2012, the Beloved Community was investigated by the police for possible involvement in the shipping of marijuana. Former Police Chief Ken Miller told media outlets, “The GPD had received information from law enforcement officials in Texas that a package, possibly containing illegal drugs, was being sent via the United States Postal Service to the Beloved Community Center located at 417 Arlington Street. The information provided by the Texas police agency was a result of an on-going criminal drug investigation in their jurisdiction.Following investigative protocol, detectives from GPD coordinated with the USPS to intercept the package and notify GPD so detectives could continue their investigation. The package was delivered to the intended recipient, however, GPD detectives were not notified.As a result, the contents of the package are unknown, and the validity of the information provided by Texas authorities cannot be confirmed.”