NC Racial Equity Task Force approves 125 recommendations, sends big report to Gov. Cooper

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Racial Equity Task Force sends 125 recommendations to Gov. Cooper
The soon-to-be released report covers topics from marijuana to mental health, policing and use of force, court costs and fees, choke holds and police recruitment.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice on Tuesday voted to approve an omnibus report featuring 125 proposals and recommendations that members hope will lead to meaningful changes in law enforcement and the court system.

"We've been listening with an open mind and goodwill," Justice Anita Earls, the task force's co-chair, said. "That doesn't mean we agree on everything, but we have listened to each other."

The listening took place over six months and 60 meetings since Governor Roy Cooper created the task force in the wake of George Floyd's death and subsequent protests.

"I don't think there's ever been a point in time where I have seen more eyes open about this issue than I have now," Cooper said on July 10. "I don't think there's any question that there are many individual success stories out there across the state and the country, and many of you have been involved in those success stories. But overall there are systemic racial issues in our systems that we have to fix."

Tuesday, Cooper thanked the 23-member commission for "for the negotiations and consensus for the most part that has been achieved."

The report, which will be released on Dec. 14, covers everything from marijuana to mental health, policing and use of force, court costs and fees, choke holds, and police retention and recruitment.

The Task Force members came from a variety of social, economic, religious, geographic and professional backgrounds:

  • Anita Earls, Associate Justice of the NC Supreme Court
  • Josh Stein, NC Attorney General
  • Tarrah Callahan, Executive Director of Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform
  • Brooke Locklear Clark, District Court Judge
  • James E. Clemmons, Jr.,Richmond County Sheriff
  • Mitch Colvin, Mayor of Fayetteville
  • C.J. Davis, Chief of Durham Police Department
  • James D. Gailliard, North Carolina General Assembly representative for District 25
  • Billy Gartin, Sergeant for the Raleigh Police Department
  • Michael Hawkins, Transylvania County Commissioner
  • Henderson Hill, Senior Counsel of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project
  • Erik A. Hooks, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
  • John Ingram, Sheriff of Brunswick County
  • John Letteney, Chief of Apex Police Department
  • Mujtaba Mohammed, North Carolina State Senator representing District 38
  • Marcia Morey, North Carolina General Assembly Representative for House District 30
  • Mary Pollard, Executive Director of the North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services Inc
  • Kerwin Pittman, Founder and Executive Director of Recidivism Reduction Education Program Services
  • Ronnie Smith, President-Elect of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners
  • Alan Thornburg, Superior Court Judge for Buncombe County
  • Talley Wells, Executive Director of the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Angelica Wind, Executive Director of Our Voice, Inc.
  • James Raeford Woodall Jr., District Attorney for the 18th Prosecutorial District in Chatham and Orange counties