My Turn: The NC Black Leadership Caucus calling for police chief - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: The NC Black Leadership Caucus calling for police chief's resignation

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This week, the North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus called for the resignation of Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

In a nutshell, they claim the recent issues regarding police using excessive force in this area fall at the feet of Chief Evangelous.

There are a couple problems here. First, the local leaders that made this call don't have their facts straight. One example they cited blamed the city police for one incident that involved the county sheriff's department.

Secondly, and even more importantly, the caucus leaders haven't even reached out to the city police leadership to have a discussion about force. Several other groups, including the local NAACP and other community leaders, have been having those discussions. But the caucus leaders told us they don't need to talk to Chief Evangelous.

Unfortunately, this type of radical grandstanding gets attention. But it doesn't get results. It only becomes a distraction from an otherwise worthwhile discussion about crime and violence the rest of our community is trying to have. The North Carolina Black Leadership Caucus should try getting on board with that instead.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


 

Emailed comments from viewers:

I am a Burgaw resident and have been following the gang violence in Wilmington.  The police force should take strong action against these crimes, even if it means strong tactics.  These gang members use their ultimate force in robberies, breaking ins, and killings. The Police department has to use their defense in anyway possible, even it means using dogs for help in getting these thugs at bay.  I hope the Chief will be reinstated and will be given the authority to nab these thugs.  I also feel that the laws are not severe enough to deter thugs from these acts.  They don't mind going to jail where they will be fed, clothed and given TV for their pleasure.  They don't mind having a criminal record.  Perhaps that's what they want.  I fear that the action against the Chief will deter recruitment into the department.  Please continue to RANT on this subject. 

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In regards to calling for the Chiefs resignation, I say consider a few points here. I've lived here for four years, unfortunately I've seen the crime rate rise. I find it amazing that criminals can murder a young man for a sandwich and a few dollars, or fire shots at the police, but no one in the community steps up to bring the crime rate down. But when the police step up their presence and enforce the law, its considered "excessive force"! What about murdering innocent people, is that not excessive force? What about random shots fired at people, or into their homes, is that not excessive force? What about when a career criminal shoots a Sheriff's detective, is that not excessive force? If you think you can slap a criminal on the hand and send them home and hope they'll change, then you live in a dream world. The truth is, in order to drop the crime rate, you have to show criminals that you're not going to let them get away. Let the police enforce the law, its their job. If you're not breaking the law, then you have nothing to worry about, especially force.

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I agree with your assessment of this situation.  The members of the NAACP Black Caucus should be more involved in community policing to help solve the crime problem.  It is easy to point the finger and blame someone else for "after the fact" issues. It would be more productive in devoting time to getting to the root of the crime problem and finding ways to deter crime. 

I think the police do well with the resources they are given to combat criminals. 

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Something I really don't get in all this talk about Gun Control, is that there is no talk about the courts and what happens when the criminal goes to court.  Put some tough laws on the books and enforce them.  Get picked up with an unregistered gun...go to jail.  Commit a crime with a gun, go to jail.   Our police department needs support to be tough on crime.  The directions of the Police Chief to get tough on crime is the only way violent crime will stop.  He is definitely on the right path.  Criminals should be shown that Wilmington is not soft on crime.  He's doing what he and his team are paid to do, protect the public.  We want to feel safe going out for a walk.

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