Timing is everything. And this week, the timing was off for Governor Pat McCrory.
With discussions taking place in every community about the transparency of police during interactions with the public, McCrory signed a bill eliminating body cam footage from being considered public record.
That same bill also shielded dash-cam video from the public as well. And the kicker here is that the governor said that the increased secrecy would actually increase transparency.
Where I come from, there’s a phrase for that. And it ends with the words “don’t tell me it’s raining.”
Our community has not been involved to date in any tragic incidents between police and citizens, but we’ve had questions. And in those instances, the release of dash cam video helped prove officers were doing their jobs the correct way. Now, that won’t be an option.
I’m sorry, but for the governor to try to couch this as transparency is wrong. It’s anything but transparency. It’s secrecy. And it’s the type of move that only raises more questions and deeper suspicions.
That’s my turn. Now it’s your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Emailed comments from viewers:
I just wanted to chime in on today's My Turn. While I understand that the public should have some transparency in the actions of our law enforcement, recent events have proven that most people jump to conclusions without knowing all of the circumstances surrounding videos. We have seen time and again that protesters and rioters have taken to the streets only to find out later that officers' lives were in danger prior to tragic police shootings. Michael Brown is a perfect example. We had weeks of rioting and dangerous protesting in Ferguson, MO. Later, even African-American witnesses to the shooting reported to the FBI that Michael Brown never had his hands up and in fact, had beaten the police office in the face prior to him being shot.
Right now, the safety of the public trumps our instant video reflexes. I do believe that once a case has gone through all legal proceedings, we should be able to view the video. But releasing 30 seconds of an incident that takes several minutes to unfold is not safe and not fair to the individuals involved. If our country was founded on "guilty until proven innocent" then so be it, but the country I live in believes in "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."
I'm a conservative republican. McCrory is a GOP puppet & is dead wrong ref police transparency & HB2. Will not vote for him again. He is hurting & embarrassing NC.
I agree with you about the bill that eliminates body cam footage and dash cam footage from the public. If someone gets shot and it wasn't justified how are we gonna punish Those who are responsible or to be able to tell the whole story?
We recently purchased our dream home in Hampstead. More than we ever imagined, or could afford in Ct. But, in the recent months with the anti LBGT bill ,and now this law,some friends words are starting to haunt me. There is still a stereotype southern mentality being thrown around up North. I was quick to say how wrong to think that way. Well, I have no response when they call and say "see, the southern redneck good ole boys are still at it!" I now fear for my two adopted children who are Hispanic. I have very frank conversations with them about being pulled over down here. This new law now makes it mandatory I mount cameras in their cars!
I absolutely agree with you. Our Governor is a disgrace to our state. He has hurt NC like he wants us to fail as a state. His uneducated actions have caused us money, embarrassment, harassment and distain. I hope our voters are smart not to elect this man again.
We as citizens has the right to view any videos because not viewing brings less trust to police departments.Makes the citizens feel they are hiding something and being less honest. We as citizens need to voice our concerns to the proper authority who's in charge and whose pen signed it into law. We the people do have rights and not just one man making and changing all the rules.That's just my opinion.
I think you were wrong when you said this morning that the webcams that caught officers only doing their duty correctly in our area remember when the police chased a guy a couple years back and when he was cornered he gave up and was following orders the police broke the window and threw the dog in the car and wasn't charged now stuff like that is what police get away with like it was normal for someone to be treated like that couldn't have been me
McRory's government promotes secrecy, discrimination, and is creating conditions which prevent people from voting! He is either evil or stupid and definitely not good for North Carolina.
Well said. With the controversy in the country right now, why not be transparent?
Great piece my man, keep up the good work!
... for saying something that needed to be addressed = Gov. Pat McCrory passing legislation that (once again) keeps the public in the dark.
I do not want to be political about this but I'm ashamed of what has transpired over the past 4-6 months in North Carolina.
I know N.C. has a conservative/Southern culture but I just can not understand why some decisions have been made that clearly
put N.C. in the spotlight f/being backwards, insensitive, .. or worse.
Your Turn, which I caught a few moments ago, was a wonderful statement that all public servant & public policy should be transparent.
I hope our Governor gets to see your message .. & rethinks his position.
Your comments are spot on. I'm glad to see someone speak up about some of the bad bills our legislature has passed and our governor has signed. Thank you
least this will keep media and BLM from crucifying police before all facts are known, just not pictures with no explanation.
Sorry, but I do not see it your way, when you say to leave the decision to an impartial judge. I am pretty sure that the judge will always side with the district attorney and the law enforcement community on such matters. They are all "birds of the same feather"
Also, we did have a terrible police incident in Brunswick County. A mentally upset teen was shot dead on the floor of his home, in front of his parents, by a "Rambo" of a police officer, who was know to brag about his actions to neighbors. Officer Vassey walked free. If he had been wearing a "working" body camera, that the public could have viewed, I feel sure that he would be in the Raleigh prison at this time.
An "impartial" judge decided his fate that time as well. Judges do not like to send cops to prison . That is every cops worst fear, being locked up with someone he helped to have locked up.
The police protect the Governor and his family. Always have. Mike Easley used to travel to Southport with a squad of paid Highway Patrolmen, who were quarterd near his riverfront home for his protection. It is only natural for the Governor to look after the Law Enforcement Community , over the rank and file citizens of the State. Human nature.
Think the police are really there to Protect and Serve? No longer, they are "Law Enforcement Officers" now. That is a new breed. Do a little research and look into how cops are now trained. They don't ask questions first anymore. Their first impulse now is to take you down to the ground, cuff you, and then talk. You are already guilty in their eyes.
Take a good look at the "homeland security" attacks on our freedoms. Joseph Stalin would admire the writers of those laws.