Group to Demand City Council Release Full Information on Travis Cole Investigation
If files are not released by January 11, GSO Operation Transparency
says it will conduct a “People’s Document Search”
GREENSBORO, NC–On Tuesday, December 13 at 10am GSO Operation Transparency, a multi-racial, intergenerational group of concerned Greensboro residents, will deliver an ultimatum to Greensboro City Council to release the full investigative file and relevant correspondence relating to the June 17, 2016 assault on Dejuan Yourse by Greensboro Police Department Officer Travis Cole.
If the documents are not released by noon on January 11 the group says it will conduct a non-violent “People’s Document Search” to acquire and release the information that should be available to the public in order to restore public confidence in the city administration, invoking NC GS 160A-168, the state statute that governs the release of personnel records of public employees.
WHAT: Press conference and delivery of written demand for any and all documents generated as a result of Cole’s misconduct on June 17th, 2016
WHEN: Tuesday, December 13, 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Greensboro City Council Chambers, Melvin Municipal Building
On June 17, 2016 Greensboro Police Department officer Travis Cole confronted Dejuan Yourse while he was sitting on his mother’s front porch, repeatedly punching Yourse and throwing him to the ground. That incident was captured on police body cam but Cole, who had a history of police misconduct, remained in the Greensboro Police Department for a full two months after the event. In the end Officer Cole was allowed to resign without any further disciplinary action.
The incident raised anger in Greensboro and gained national attention, but City Council investigations have been conducted in closed-door meetings and information has been withheld from the public. In the absence of transparency, serious questions regarding the time lapses and withheld information about the assault and actions taken by City Council and the Greensboro Police department remain. GSO OperationTransparency is also raising questions about the role of the police union, the reasons the District Attorney chose not to prosecute Officer Cole, and the reluctance City Council members have shown to investigate further and demonstrate police accountability in order to ensure public safety.
“Important documents are being held secret by city officials,” said Isabell Moore, a supporter of the group. “These documents are critical to understanding whether Greensboro has in place adequate safeguards against police brutality. With everything happening across the country, it is important – now, more than ever – for us to know whether we can count on our government to protect the basic rights of all residents. “
“The Cole case and the way it has been dealt with demonstrate many ways that structural racism is at work in policing and every system connected to it in Greensboro. The people of this city deserve better and the Council should take a step towards building trust by immediately using its authority to release all documents and communications generated in relation to the case,” said Bayard Love, a supporter of the group.
GSO Operation Transparency is a multiracial, multigenerational group of Greensboro residents concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability in recent incidents that have transpired with police officials, City Council members and other city staff, and how that might damage the integrity of overall public safety and public trust in government agencies.