In December 2012, An officer from City of New Bern, NC Police Department pulled a gun out on me, I was 13 years old, walking to the post office to mail a Christmas present, if I was Black I would probably be dead.

2012 was the year that New Bern Chief of Police Toussaint E. Summers Jr assumed his position as Chief of Police.

Over the past 8 years it has become increasingly evident that under Mr. Summers Leadership that The New Bern Police Department has operated in a culture that is at best disorganized, and at worst, a calculated effort of community intimidation.

In 2015 Mr. Summers along with a Captain and Two Lieutenants rushed to a local media outlet in an attempt to intimidate a Journalist for reporting in a way that Mr. Summers did not like. (PS. This particular situation has to do with reports of human trafficking.)

At a peaceful protest just last week in New Bern, The New Bern Police Department deployed a multitude of undercover police, something that many, including myself, view to be a complete and absolute waste of taxpayer money.

Now this week Officer Nick Rhodes with The New Bern Police Department made a public post stating that the shooting of #RayshardBrooks was justified, even after The Atlanta Police Department itself found that action to be so despicable that the officer that shot Rayshard Brooks was fired and has been charged with murder.

Furthermore The Chief, Members of The Governing Board, and The City manager have been notified of this statement by Officer Nick Rhodes and have yet to make a statement or take appropriate action.

In fact The City of New Bern leadership itself has taken no adequate action, and made no adequate statement to address the obvious racial inequities across North Carolina and The United States that have led to our current Civil Rights Movement.

What I have stated above are just a small snippet of the culture of intimidation and fear perpetuated by The New Bern Police Department, and so just like in the 1990s it would behoove the citizens of New Bern to possibly have an SBI investigation opened into The New Bern Police department to evaluate their practices and culture.

Nick Rhodes should resign by the end of the day.

I would also like to See Dana Outlaw, Mayor of New Bern call for a special session of The Board of Alderman, for the public to come and comment on their experiences with The New Bern Police Department.

Finally it is clear that Chief Summers does not hold the trust of the community and if he cannot take appropriate action to handle this moment, and allow for an investigation into his department, in a transparent manner, should resign himself. #NoJusticeNoPeace
City of New Bern, NC Government

Braedon Oliver, used with permission

Note: New Bern Post has reached out to Officer Rhodes, Chief Summers, City Manager Mark Stephens, and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their comments about the post by Officer Rhodes.

5 Comments

  1. I understand peoples’ frustration and anger, but I think we should be careful of putting all of this on Chief Summers. He inherited this culture and is a Black man trying to lead a Southern police force with a long standing culture of racism and misogyny (and I do know that there are officers who who are open to learning, engagement, and wanting to dismantle those systems). I imagine this has been a very difficult environment for him to do his work in, and I do believe he has the best intentions for helping the community, while also having a very different perspective about police and policing than the Chief. I’m also a little bit uncomfortable with white folks calling for his resignation without hearing from the leaders in the Black community. What kind of leader would they replace him with? There could be serious unintended consequences here…

    I think the issues are deeper and more widespread, applying to every part of the criminal justice system, here and everywhere else. This is not just an issue within NBPD. This is definitely not something that will be fixed by firing individuals or just replacing leadership. I feel like we would all be better served by using this as an opportunity to engage in some real dialogue about alternatives to our current approaches to issues like violence, substance use, mental health, and the role of policing in that as well as what kinds of training, skills, and characteristics officers need to have to serve in their roles within the system as it stands (because right now that is what we are working with…), than by going after individuals and institutions with other institutions founded on the same history and practices we are calling into question. But that’s just my perspective…

  2. Personal opinions and freedom of speech doesn’t mean to get mad or take it personally. Last feedback appeared to be a perspective from one who like many who prefer a more conservative slant. Right or wrong just a different take we should be welcome in open conversation.

  3. I guess public debate and comment are not welcome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.