Let’s have the whole story


The news spread quickly Monday morning: Greensboro Police Chief David Wray announced his resignation at 8:30 a.m.

The department under Wray’s charge has been the subject of an independent investigation commissioned by the city. The investigation, which began this summer, centers on allegations of internal racial profiling. Wray was stripped of his power to hire and fire in December 2005. City Manager Mitchell Johnson changed the locks to his office on Jan. 6.

What does this mean?

Nobody’s talking, but City Council members interviewed by YES! Weekly say they have seen a memo from the city manager outlining some of its findings.

We want the report to be made available in its entirety to the press and the public by whom the Greensboro Police Department is employed. But that’s probably not going to happen.

Mayor Keith Holliday told YES! Weekly he supports limited disclosure.

‘“Because of the circumstances of personal; allegations back and forth, I feel that some information will need to be released to help bring closure to this issue and make sure the public continues to feel confident in current policies and procedures of the police department,’” the mayor said in a telephone interview on Jan. 9.

NC state law protects the confidentiality of employees in personnel matters, and we understand that. But we expect the city council to disclose as little as they can get away with in this matter. But the point is not whether David Wray should have been allowed to keep his job; the issue at hand is the way the department treats the black people who work there in issues of hiring, firing and consideration for promotion.

We expect the city council to release a report that substantially addresses these concerns.

The council meets Tuesday, Jan. 10 in closed session to hear Johnson’s evaluation of the report and the current situation in the department. Then, according to Mayor Holliday, they will decide what, if anything, the public will be allowed to hear.

The mayor said at press time he is unsure whether the council will release the information in the form of a redacted report or as a press release with a list of bullet points.

We feel that a press release is inadequate to the situation at hand.

For institutions of government to be accountable to the public it serves, they must operate in a transparent fashion. We need to see the full report, not just a synopsis, with as little redaction as is absolutely necessary to stay within the bounds of the law.