Salisbury’s City Council Meeting Demonstrated a Mobilized Public Demanding Solutions for Ending Gang Violence and “No Knock” Warrants

Posted on December 7, 2016

Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ Last night I watched Salisbury City Council’s meeting on city government’s streaming website and was heartened by the large public turnout.  I saw a mobilized public demanding solutions for ending gang violence and “No Knock” warrants.  We will put video up of the public commentary and other key segments of the meeting when they are available.  Videos always carry the full emotional and thoughtful impact of individuals participating at government boards, commissions, or councils. Writing, with its slanted ability to edit out or brush over what was actually said and intoned, just can not compare.  If you really want to know what happened at a city council, county commission, or school board meeting, either attend them or watch a video.

Tuesday at 5 p.m. somewhere around 30 some people packed city council’s chambers and spoke for close to 2 hours.  Kenny Hardin and others did an excellent job of mobilizing the public.  Public commenters spoke mainly about the ongoing  city gang violence that tragically lead to the shooting deaths of 7-year-old A’Yanna Allen (sleeping in her bed on Harrel Street) and 21-year-old Sharod Raheen Mathis (In the Firewater Lounge parking lot) or they spoke about ending “No knock” warrants that endanger both police officers and suspects.  The firestorm of public outcry against “No Knock” warrants is the result of the untimely death of Ferguson Claude Laurent, 22,.  Many are curious about Mr. Laurent’s eligibility for a “No Knock” warrant seeing as though he had no prior criminal record and he allegedly sold pot to an undercover person.  With all the meth, crack, oxycotin, and heroin being sold in Salisbury, we would think the Police had far larger fish to fry than pot.

Last night’s public commentary certainly had to have an have an effect on those persons in city government and elsewhere who try to deny that violent crimes and gangs exist in Salisbury.  Violent crime and gangs are affecting the way people live in Salisbury to the point where people are moving away.  Denying violent crime and gangs has slowed the process of overcoming these challenges.

There were other important issues discussed: the possibility of council persons responding to public commenters, a petition to ban “No Knock” warrant, community policing, allocating better funding of the police department, recruiting police officers more in line with the city’s racial, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic makeup, the lack of enough activities for young people to be involved in, expunging misdemeanors so people could get jobs, and the better use of city funds.





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