Protest planned against endorsement of police force

January 8, 2012 5:15:17 PM PST
Chapel Hill residents will protest Town Manager Roger Stancil's official endorsement of the actions police took when confronting a group of self-described anarchists who occupied the vacant Yates Motor Company building last November.

The town released Stancil's report late Friday evening. In response, a protest is planned for 6 p.m. Monday at the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street.

Two community groups affiliated with the local anarchist movement are endorsing the protests: Croatan Earth First! and The Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective.

In a written statement, the groups said the protest is a necessary response to the "reckless sanction of heavy-handed repression."

In the report, Stancil deemed that the actions of the Chapel Hill police department were the best decisions made that could be made given the information available at the time.

However, Stancil stopped short of condoning the detainment of two reporters who were at the scene to report the arrests.

He wrote that the police's objecive was to remove the occupiers without injury which had been accomplished.

He wrote that the town needs to learn from this experience.

"The police and the press need each other in such situations," he stated.

Organizers for Monday's protest said the report legitimized police violence and demonstrates that the Town government is "dangerously out of touch with the people of Chapel Hill."

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