I am a Unitarian Universalist minister. We clergy are no strangers to death — we bury people, we remember their lives, we comfort the grieving. But the deaths that haunt me are the preventable deaths, and that is why I am writing to you in response to the Dec. 1 article, “Greensboro releases video in police custody death,” about the police killing of Marcus Smith.
I was disturbed by this section of the article: “The city of Greensboro has said that officers followed all procedures in the events before Smith’s death and that the four officers ... are back on their regular patrol duties.” In fact, the police did violate their own policies which state that they will not bend an individual’s legs more than 90 degrees (Section 11.1 of Greensboro Police Procedures). In the video, one can clearly see that his legs were pushed to more than 90 degrees, which is known to be deadly.
In order to restore trust and confidence in the police, the City Council must bring about the dismissal of Police Chief Wayne Scott for gross negligence of the safety of our citizens. If they don’t, we will see more preventable deaths.
The Rev. Sadie Lansdale