Salisbury: Don’t Hide It–Fix It!

Posted on July 31, 2017

Todd Paris, Staff Writer, Salisbury Attorney, and Candidate for Salisbury City Council

♦ I went down to our celebrated mural, God forbid everybody calls it the “Double Murder Mural”, in the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot Sunday Afternoon. For those who don’t know, this piece of attractive art features a collage of historic buildings and notable local persons. The local burrito place in the vicinity was doing a booming business at noon and the parking lot was full of cars. A group of youngsters appeared to be walking around with their cell phones playing Pokémon, apparently oblivious that the same space was a double murder crime scene in the wee hours of the morning. My mission was to simply take pictures of bullet holes and damage much as I did a few months back in the vicinity Mayor Alexander’s building after the shoot-out in the vicinity of the hookah bar in her basement.

I don’t usually write crime scene stories for RFP, but I do take pictures. RFP’s editor Steve Mensing is very careful not to print rumors and unsubstantiated stories and the facts are in such flux at this point that it is difficult to say any more than what has been said at this time. A credible witness inside a locked down building put on his Facebook page that more than thirty shots were fired and pictures of evidence markers support this statement.

Two persons are dead and several are wounded. Families are crushed. No known arrests have been made. It was good to see the SBI on the scene. For many of Salisbury’s “Fibrant years” local police chiefs excluded them from murder investigations. I had been pushing for returning the SBI to murder investigations for over a year at public comments.

To those art and culture warriors who may be concerned, I can report that the mural appears unharmed and the visages of Salisbury’s elite remain unmarred. Go Burrito and First United Methodist Church functioned normally Sunday after having been roped off. “Music at The Mural” was scheduled, but preempted by the shooting and all that crime scene tape. I am tempted to say Salisbury is different town by day and night, however I do recall a gun fight in broad daylight a few months back on West Innes that indicates that this assertion is not wholly accurate.

An unsigned editorial in the printed paper today laments that city council candidates “may accuse the city of doing nothing to address this kind of crime.” The author reminds us that we have a new chief, and deputy police chief that inherited a department “plagued by vacancies.” This, of course, was caused by the massive annual Fibrant deficits over the past ten years caused by a decision by the Susan Kluttz Council to build this debacle in the first place. That paper has already tried to absolve them of all blame in a series of articles over the past week.  It didn’t work.

Dear editor, I was the guy that told the public about the last chief moonlighting for the housing authority. I was the guy that told you Fibrant was losing money months before David Post forced the city to admit it.  Our Editor Steve Mensing was telling world fibrant was a debacle all the back in 2011. He knows more about Fibrant’s history than any other human being on Earth. He chuckled every time City Hall claimed it turned the corner–he knew what the reality was.   If it were not for Rowan Free Press and my public comments at council meetings over the several years the print paper would still be writing about “Fibrant turning the Corner and Making a Modest Profit” and spewing praises of the Chief Rory as he was guarding the dumpsters at Clancy Hills.

In the end, it all comes down to the truth. This city has always been run of, by and for a narrow, wealthy, slice of the population that votes in off year elections to make sure “the right kind of people” and one and only one black candidate gets elected. The local print media appears to be absolutely complicit in this result over the years.

This electoral effect brought us Fibrant, the Fibrant deficits, the diminishment of SPD, the mushrooming crime and violence due to police ineffectiveness and the reduction in services in all city departments. Around 3,000 residents subscribe to Fibrant out of 33,000 residents. Ever wonder why the other 30,000 have to pay, and not just in money?  And people in the county are paying up too through their water and sewer bills.

I don’t have all the answers, but I have many. Perhaps it’s time to take me up on my offer to serve on Salisbury City Council. As a former prosecutor, defense attorney, police attorney, and NAACP attorney maybe I might have some ideas or insights that could help with crime control while respecting citizens rights? No, we just keep electing the same types of ruling cabal approved candidates that sent us down this path in the first place.

Working class citizens need to vote. No more Karen Alexander. No more Brian Miller. No more hand-picked black candidates approved by Country Club fund raisers.


Bullet gouged wall at the at the Double Murder Scene:

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