Louis Beveridge, an activist with connections to several Greensboro community organizations, is asking people to encourage City Manager Jim Westmoreland not to select internal candidate Deputy Chief Wayne Scott as the city’s next police chief.
In a Facebook message to 60 other residents, Beveridge spelled out his reasons for opposing Scott’s appointment, instead favoring finalist Danielle Outlaw, the deputy chief of police in Oakland.
“Mr. Scott was and has been entrenched in the system that has typically created the distrust and distance between residents of our community and the police. He was involved in the Black Book controversy and had some involvement with placing tracking devices on the cars of African-American officers, leading to the lawsuits that 42 African-American officers filed against the city. He says that his worst day as an officer was the day that his chief, Chief Ray, was locked out of his office. (Ray was locked out of his office to keep him from destroying information and covering up the misdeeds that he had instituted.) Scott should never have lasted this long in the selection process.
“Ms. Outlaw is currently Deputy Chief of her department and has superior credentials in education, management experience and is just an impressive candidate. She would definitely signal a fresh, new direction for GPD being an African American and a female [a first] to serve as chief. Please keep in mind, her race and gender are not what makes her qualified and/or worthy of our support. Those are additional factors. Remember, Oakland was the site of much tension during Occupy and she was instrumental in the resolution of those conflicts.”
Triad City Beat couldn’t immediately find any evidence to indicate that Scott was part of the Black Book controversy.
[UPDATE (3/11 at 2:50 p.m.): Wayne Scott said he was in no way connected to the Black Book controversy or directly to former chief David Wray.
“I did not have and have not had any connection to David Wray at the time or now,” Scott said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. I was a traffic sergeant at the time. I’m really not sure where that information came from.”
Scott said that during a public forum in the hiring process he was asked about a difficult time where he stepped up and showed leadership, and said he used the Wray example but said Beveridge took his comment out of context. Scott said he meant it was a difficult time for the department and the community, but that he and other officers still had to go to work and do their jobs despite the situation.
Scott added that he believes Beveridge and others may be confusing him with another officer, noting that Wray had an assistant police chief with the same last name.
“David Wray had an Assistant Chief Scott, and that’s not me,” he said.]
Outlaw hasn’t responded to a request for comment since March 6 when Triad City Beat broke the news with the names of the two finalists for the position.
Beveridge also asked people to contact Westmoreland about the Scales brothers case involving Greensboro police. Numerous people responded to Beveridge’s message, affirming his call and saying they had or would soon contact the city manager.
After the news broke, Councilman Tony Wilkins sent an email to Westmoreland, the assistant city managers, Holder and City Attorney Tom Carruthers inquiring about the leak.
“I’m concerned about how the information in this article, including names, leaked out early and the implication that applicant Outlaw is ‘associated’ with Councilman Jamal Fox,” Wilkins wrote, referring to Fox and Outlaw being LinkedIn connections. “Jim [Westmoreland], can you explain? And please explain the ‘association’ mentioned.”
Westmoreland responded: “As I mentioned yesterday, I have no idea where the Triad City Beat received their information. By copy of this note, I will ask Donnie to follow-up with them to see if he can obtain additional details.”
City spokesperson Donnie Turlington wrote back a short while later, just before 2 p.m. today:
“Triad City Beat does not reveal confidential sources, so I cannot get any additional information from the reporter,” Turlington said. “It does look like the connection between Ms. Outlaw and Councilman Fox is a LinkedIn ‘connection.’ If I learn more, I’ll certainly pass it along.”
The city said in a press release yesterday that it plans to announce the new chief by the end of the week.