GREENSBORO, NC — Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan appeared on WFMY’s Good Morning Show this morning and continued to mislead the public about the City’s ability to procure the public release of police body camera video of the arrest of then-15 year-old Jose Charles at last years’ Fourth of July celebration downtown.
Last week, Vaughan told reporters that while she “wished” she could make the videos public, there was nothing the city could do to release the videos. That wasn’t true and, two days later, Winston-Salem proved it by getting a judge to allow it to release police body camera video of one of its officers making an arrest, proving Vaughan to be either uninformed or deceptive.
Today on WFMY, Vaughan tried to cover her tracks and changed her explanation, saying now that it is a matter of the boy’s age. She said this:
“Unfortunately, Mr. Charles was fifteen at the time that this occurred, and there are very strict rules surrounding minors for very good reasons. Not only will a judge not allow us to speak about the video, at this point it doesn’t appear that they would release the video because he’s a minor.”
Vaughan’s new explanation is faulty in every way. The City of Greensboro regularly broadcasts videos it produces with minors in them. This episode of “This is Greensboro” with Rosemary Plybon: Children’s Museum has a bunch of children in it.
So does this one from the city about Greensboro’s pools.
Perhaps the parents of every child in all of the videos the city creates have given their permission. I doubt the city has exercised that degree of care in adhering to what Vaughan describes as “very strict rules surrounding minors,” but who knows? With or without parental permission, the City of Greensboro regularly releases videos in which minors appear.
If Vaughan and the City of Greensboro really wanted to fulfill Vaughan’s “wish” that the Jose Charles video be released, they could seek the mother’s permission if they think that is required. I’m told from a knowledgeable source that Jose Charles’ mother actually tried to get the video released herself but was told her paperwork was not in order.
So when Vaughan says that “It doesn’t appear they would release the video because he is a minor,” that’s just speculation and an excuse for not backing up her words with actions.
The fact remains that the city could try, like Winston-Salem successfully did, to get a judge to permit release of the video. Vaughan says she wishes the City could release the video but the City makes no effort to make it happen. Instead Vaughan offers excuses that don’t stand up to scrutiny.
You are not stupid. You see what is happening here. This is a case of actions (or lack of actions) speaking louder than words.