DISGRACED COPS LAWYER:
“TAPES WILL CAUSE VIOLENCE”
By Cash Michaels
If the tapes of three disgraced white former Wilmington police officers who were captured calling black demonstrators, black officers and even an African-American magistrate n-words, are released to the public, there will be violence in the Port City, claimed an attorney for two of them.
That was just one of the arguments used by an attorney for two of the former officers in court Wednesday as the city petitioned to release to racially shocking patrol car tapes that led to the termination of Officer James Gilmore, Cpl. Jesse Moore and Officer Kevin Piner.
The judge hearing the case has now postponed it until August 27th to allow the attorney for the former officers to gather more evidence for their defense.
N.C. state law requires the court to approve any police video recordings to the public.
Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams announced their termination on June 24th after a police supervisor discovered the racist conversations during a random audit of patrol tapes. Racial slurs and talk of a possible black white “civil war” where black people would be “slaughtered” were heard, and later documented in a released transcript.
The city of Wilmington and the police department are seeking to release the actual tapes in an effort of transparency.
But Attorney Michael McGuiness, who represents Kevin Piner and Jesse Moore, warned Superior Court Judge Josh Willey that doing so would assure harm coming to his clients. McGuiness warns Wednesday that they have already subject to threats, and have had to move from their homes to seek safety.
“This recording is the most inflammatory, bad police language that I’ve heard in 32 years, and if that is released into the community, we fear that violence already existing in Wilmington, we believe that is going to continue,” McGuinness told the court.
McGuiness then claimed that there was an alleged “…declared war on the police community” in Wilmington.
The police attorney then argued that he needed to call a witness in defense of his clients, and wanted to do so during an in-person court session. Most court sessions statewide have been relegated to virtual platforms because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wilmington City Attorney Daniel Thurston would hear none of it. He told the court that based on the controversial nature of the police recordings, the city wanted the case over and the tapes released sooner than later, saying that the citizens of Wilmington “want closure.”
Chief Williams - officially appointed over a month ago - says he wants the city to view his department as transparent in releasing the tapes.
The court continuance was granted for August 27.
NC SCHOLARS BLAST SEN. COTTON’S
SLAVERY “NECESSARY EVIL” EXCUSE
By Cash Michaels
Two Black North Carolina scholars criticized U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for saying in an interview over the weekend that he agreed with the founders that slavery was a “necessary evil…upon which the union was built.”
America should not be seen “as an imperfect and flawed land, but the greatest and noblest country in the history of mankind,” Cotton, a right-wing conservative, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
And if there is any doubt about Sen. Cotton’s stance, he called the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Magazine “1619 Project” coordinated by UNC-Chapel Hill alumna Nikole Hannah-Jones “left-wing propaganda” and “factually, historically flawed.”
The much-heralded series examined America’s history starting from when enslaved Africans were first brought to these shores.
Cotton doesn’t want the project taught in the nation’s public schools, so he is sponsoring the Saving American History Act of 2020, which, if passed, would “cut of federal professional development funds to any school district that teaches a curriculum linked to the 1619 Project,” according to the Huffington Post.
On Twitter, Nikole Hannah-Jones wasn’t tolerating Cotton’s excuse of slavery.
“If chattel slavery — heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit — were a “necessary evil” as @TomCottonAR says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end,” she wrote.
Here in North Carolina, Hannah-Jones has supporters at two historically Black universities - Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at Shaw University; and Irving Joyner, law professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law.
“In response to Sen. Tom Cotton’s plan to introduce as law the “Saving American History Act of 2020” is to declare this proposed act to be one of governmental overreach on the Federal level, said Dr. Johnson. “It is an attempt to chill academic freedom, one of the hallmark’s of American Democracy, in order to espouse a view of American history that is whitewashed and supports white supremacy.”
Dr Johnson continued, “We now benefit from the work of so many scholars bringing to light aspects of American history kept hidden. We are better for the many publications that expand U.S. to include all of its people and their stories. By trying to curtail, through the threat of loss of revenue, the ability of educators to determine from their experience and training what is needed in the classroom, Cotton lays the foundation for fascism. Here again is another hypocritical attempt to impose the views of a few on the American public despite claiming to do the opposite.”
“Tom Cotton seems not to understand a fundamental truth. To quote Shaw alumnus, Ms. Ella Baker: “In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.” This only happens when we are courageous enough to tell the whole and truthful narrative of who and what we are as a nation,” concluded Dr. Johnson.
Professor Joyner couldn’t agree more.
“It is clear that slavery was a gigantic and sinful exploitation of humanity and it placed the founders of this country on the barbaric side of history. That “original” exhibition of inhumanity by those who crafted the legal foundation for this country created a system and mentality of racism which have survived the passage of time and is still resident within systems, institutions and the mind-set of today’s America. That is crystal clear when you listen to the modern day enslaver class who seek to glorify and re-invent that racist history and mentality.”
Joyner, who is also chair of the NCNAACP’s Legal Redress Committee Committee, continued, “The United States was born and wrapped up in slavery and this nation’s leaders have endorsed and actively supported this nation’s dehumanizing treatment of African Americans and most other racial minorities. Despite the re-birth and revamping of this nation ethos, which occurred after the Civil War and after the Civil Rights movement, racism continues to guide the philosophy, thinking and interactions of many elected officials and is deeply embedded within this nation’s institutions and governing bodies.”
“Tom Cotton is just another example of that racial-biased mindset who continues efforts to salvage and restore the legacy of this nation’s racist founders,” Prof. Joyner added. “In response, we need to continue efforts to confront those individuals who hold, express and honor these racist views. A part of that struggle must confront the telling of history and efforts to glorify that racist past along with those who harbor and peddle these racist views. As for Cotton, another elected official with racist views, we must call a “spade a spade” and loudly denounce this latest volley of revisionist racial history.”
STATE NEWS BRIEFS for 07-30-20
NO ALCOHOL SALES AFTER 11 P.M. STARTING FRIDAY
[RALEIGH] In an effort to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases across the state, Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday ordered that starting Friday, alcohol sales will no longer be allowed in restaurants for on-site consumption after 11 p.m.. "People are less socially distant and less sitting at tables and more milling around and more up around the bar," he said. "This is one of the ways that we believe will be effective in driving those [statewide virus] numbers down if we want to discourage that bar-type scene in a restaurant." All bars in the state remain closed. Restaurants are limited to takeout and operating at half-capacity for dining. Cooper with college students coming back to the state for the new school year, it was important to impose the restriction now.
NEW HANOVER PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD TO ANNOUNCE HIRING OF NEW SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT ON FRIDAY
[WILMINGTON] Apparently the New Hanover County Board of Education has been searching for a new leader for it's school system in secret fo the passed several months. The Board is expected to announce it's selection this Friday. There has been no list of candidates made public.
REP. DAVID LEWIS, VOTER I.D. ARCHITECT, TO RETIRE FROM LEGISLATURE
[RALEIGH] Harnett County Republican Rep. David Lewis, seen as one of the most powerful state lawmakers in the legislature, and the architect of North Carolina’s voter I.D. and redistricting laws as chairman of the House Rules Committee, has announced that he is stepping down after he serves out his current term. Lewis, a Dunn farmer, has been in the legislature since 2003. Lewis will have to be replaced on the ballot for the Nov. election.