Occupy Chapel Hill Perpetuates Its Own Pointlessness

Apparently, Jim Neal, former Senate candidate, misses what every sane person understands. At a meeting of the Chapel Hill Town Council, he submitted a petition which read:

Many questions remain unanswered in regard to the Chapel Hill Police Department’s deployment on Sunday November 13th 2011 of a heavily-armed Special Emergency Response Team to clear a private building in Chapel Hill that had been occupied by a group of protesters. Seven people were arrested and charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering.

I have submitted a petition to to the Chapel Hill Town Council calling for the appointment of an independent commission to review the events leading up to yesterday’s deployment of the SERT unit. Residents of Chapel Hill are divided, one camp outraged by what they deem to be an unmeasured response by a SWAT team and the other yielding to the professional judgment of the CHPD. Neither side has the facts to which the public is entitled in order understand the events that led to yesterday’s display of lethal force by the Chapel Hill Police Department.

What is there not to understand? First, there was a vacant building. Then, a bunch of college kids “occupied” the building. They proceeded to barricade themselves in, post banners and posters explaining what they were doing, and then posted sentries. That is a hostile act.

Perhaps the Chapel Hill Police Department was aware of videos like this. Or this.

So they went in with a SWAT Team, taking every precaution to protect themselves of the potential threat within. Did anyone get hurt? No. Were shots fired? No.

What is the problem here?

4 thoughts on “Occupy Chapel Hill Perpetuates Its Own Pointlessness

  1. Anthony,

    I'm surprised.

    I'm delighted that you are highlighting this event. Conservatives are discussing this issue. My God is is a Conservative issue and I'd ask that you pause before passing judgment. That's what I'm doing.

    My interest is solely- only- in having the Town Council appoint an independent body to review the events leading up to the deployment of a SWAT unit at the Yates Buiding, and report its findings and recommendations, if any, back to the Council and the public. What happens afterwards would be in the hands of the Council, Town Manager and the CHPD.

    That's a pretty benign request. It's not every day that we see SWAT units on the streets of Chapel Hill. The building was not "barricaded" at all. In fact it was wide open. The Editor of the Chapel Hill News had wandered in earlier in the day, interviewed some of the six to eight people present and taken pictures of them. According to him, they were cleaning up for an open community event that evening. You could have walked in Anthony.

    Hell no I don't support anybody's so-called right to break & enter a building. They should be arrested and charged.

    So what's wrong with having a task force comprised of unaffiliated folks, say, people from law enforcement, criminal defense, investigative journalism, the Student Body (you?), the City at large and a member of the Council undertake an independent review?

    I thought all might agree of having the facts as presented from folks having no real or perceived bias in putting a firewall around the facts. Would you be satisfied with an the internal investigation by the Governor's office and the NCDP regarding Bev Perdue's campaign finance irregularities? I wouldn't.

    As for my sanity- and I take it with a smile- talk with my good friend John Hood next time you bump into him. He and I don't agree on most things but we do agree on many. Moreover we respect each other. Jack Hawke, who was a good friend of my Dad's and is the campaign manager for Pat McCrory, said as much in an article he published in the Conservative Citizen when he was the president of Civitas. Just the facts.

    Regards,

    Jim Neal

    1. Dear Mr. Neal,

      You're right in point out that I was unduly harsh in implying you had taken leave of your senses. Many of my friends have only good things to say about you, so I apologize for the insult.

      I suppose the petition in and of itself is innocuous enough and there is definitely room for conservatives to be far more suspicion that our law and order heritage would allow. That being said, given the events surrounding the petition, I think we should view it in its political context which is vehemently anti-police (symbolized by the appearance of the posters I showed in a recent post). I have no doubt that you don't share those sentiments, but many of the people supporting the petition do based on my own conversations with the occupiers and the news reports coming from the town council meeting.

      You've convinced me of the merits of your petition, though. I should have simply condemned the excesses of some of its supporters instead.

      Again, my apologies for insulting you. And thanks for your contribution. Much appreciated.

      Cordially,
      AED

  2. Anthony,

    Thank you. You do not owe me an apology. I took your comments in the good jest they were intended- and I do lose grip of my sanity from time-to-time.

    I haven't taken the pulse of every person who signed the Petition, though I would conjecture that most fall on the side of having an anti-police bias. Not all, however. Jon DeHart, recent candidate for Town Council, graduated from the Community Police Academy which the CHPD offers. He is an ardent supporter of the Petition based on his strong convictions about transparency in government.

    Moreover, your insight about polarizing biases is wholly compatible with the appointment of an independent commission. Through such a body- comprised of people with backgrounds which are representatives of law enforcement and criminal defense/investigative journalism and the like- will have higher authority to bring closure than would either the police department, city council or those protesting in the streets.

    I hope that you and others will be cosignatories to the Petition. Nobody owns it; but you should, I suggest, consider being a stakeholder.

    I had to go back to the source to drum up a tenet of Liberty that seems apropos:

    "To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility."

    I imagine that you know the source.

    Yours,

    Jim

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