The mayor + 3 on council

The labyrinthine chain of events in the saga of Jose Charles, a 15-year-old child, who was criminally charged after an altercation with Greensboro police during last year’s Fourth of July festivities, is too complicated to fit in this space, but visit for the backstory. After protesters took over a city council meeting and council members reviewed police video of the incident, council members had various statements on whether they backed the police and the city manager in the incident.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan — joined by council members Marikay Abuzuaiter (at-large), Justin Outling (District 3) and Nancy Hoffman (District 4) — said in a statement prepared by City Attorney Tom Carruthers: “Though we cannot comment on the specifics of this incident, we do recognize and support our manager’s decision and his support for the Greensboro Police Department’s initial determination in this matter.”

Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson

Via phone: “There could have been in one instance better discretion; other than that the police did act fine…. What I mean by that is there are rules where it’s legal to do something, but it may be that a better decision could have been made.”

Sharon Hightower (District 1)

Via phone: “I disagree with the city manager. I disagree with the statement [made by Vaughan, Abuzuaiter, Outling and Hoffmann]…. I think we could have arrived at a different place, a different resolution. I think we had an opportunity for a win-win.

“We’ve got to as leaders stop just grouping everything in one box. We’ve got to do a better job. I’m just disappointed in the decision that was made, and I don’t agree with the mayor and them. I’m a different thinker. In this particular incident I would have liked to see us be more considerate of all involved.” (Hightower declined to comment on where the incident fell on a spectrum of appropriate police response to not appropriate.)

Jamal Fox (District 2)

Via phone: “I’m not saying nothing on the case at this current moment.”

Tony Wilkins (District 5)

Via text: “I will continue to not comment on anything related to viewing the video.”

Mike Barber (at-large)

Barber didn’t respond to a phone message seeking comment.


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