Background on the RMA Report

By Anthony | October 16th, 2006 | 10:37 pm

Most local readers probably know this already, but for the benefit of folks who may be unfamiliar with events leading up to the recent RMA report brouhaha, here’s a bit of basic background.

From Timeline: David Wray’s Career, in the News and Record (my comments are in [brackets]):

July 2003: [David] Wray named chief [of the Greensboro police department], announces plans to alter the department’s structure.

August 2003: A battle over overtime pay surfaces when 76 officers sue the city.

September 2003: Wray changes police car logos.

January 2004: Wray adds a fourth patrol district, creates a centralized administration and changes officers to a controversial rotating shift schedule.

June 2004: Wray gets money from the City Council to hire 32 more officers.

May 2005: The city says it will start paying overtime to police in exchange for their dropping the lawsuit over comp time.

June 2005: The police association surveys officers about Wray’s leadership. [The results were not favorable for Wray.]

June 2005: An African American police lieutenant finds a tracking device on his patrol car. Supervisors say they were investigating complaints that he was using it for personal business. But the officer, Lt. James Hinson, says he is one of several black officers targeted by the Special Intelligence Section, known to rank-and-file as the “secret police.�

June 2005: Wray clears the special intelligence unit of misconduct and suspends Hinson with pay. Wray later hires an expert to examine Special Intelligence’s organizational structure and recommends Internal Affairs should be responsible for investigating officers.

August 2005: The city manager’s office launches a review of allegations into Special Intelligence and hires a consultant to help with the investigation. [The RMA Report is the result of this investigation.]

November-December 2005: Two high-ranking officers in Special Intelligence resign.

December 2005: City Manager Mitchell Johnson strips Wray of full authority to fire or transfer.

Jan. 7: Johnson changes the locks on Wray’s office doors but says Wray is still chief.

Monday [Jan 9]: Wray resigns.

From a News and Record article the day after Wray resigned:

His departure came just days after City Manager Mitchell Johnson changed the locks on the chief’s office and told media Wray needed to gain access through him. That action Friday came a month after Johnson stripped Wray of his authority to fire or promote, and after the city attorney’s office commissioned a report by a consulting firm charged with investigating claims of internal racial profiling by the Special Intelligence Section … The consulting firm hired by the city, Risk Management Associates, was paid $140 an hour to help interview officers, review documents and conduct lie detector tests.

In March of 2006, the News and Record obtained a copy of the RMA report, releasing some of the details, but refusing to publish the entire report due to an agreement with their source. The city also declined to release the report due to alleged confidentiality and legal issues.

In May, the Greensboro City Council – with the exception of Dianne Bellamy-Small – subjected themselves to polygraph tests to ostensibly prove that they were not responsible for leaking the RMA report.

On May 10, 2006 a group of Greensboro residents formally requested that the mayor and city council release the report.

On October 6, City Officials stated at a press conference that they still had no plans to release the report.

On October 10, WFMY News claimed to have seen the report.

On October 12, 2006, local blogger Ben Holder announced that he had a copy of the RMA report. Over the next few days, an increasing number of people obtained copies of the report, including The Carolina Peacemaker, Yes Weekly, and many local GSO-area bloggers.

A copy of the report was uploaded to Greensboro 101, a local blog aggregator, on October 16. Four members of the Greensboro 101 advisory board resigned as a result.

For more in-depth info on the events up until now:

The News and Record’s coverage of the events surrounding Wray, the RMA report, and the GSO police department.

Ed Cone consolidates links to Jerry Bledsoe’s ongoing Cops in Black and White series at The Rhino Times.

This is just meant to be a quick overview of background information. However, if I left out any important details for getting up to speed on where things stand, please let me know in the comments.

Related cartoons from Plead the First:

Wray’s Roulette
Reconciliation
Lie Detector Test

9 Responses to “Background on the RMA Report”

  1. TheShu Says:

    Thanks Stew,

    With too many other things going on in my life right now, I haven’t really been following this story all that closely. You’re summary was wonderful for getting folks like me up to speed.

  2. PotatoStew Says:

    Great – that’s what I was hoping for. The events have unfolded over a relatively long period of time, so it’s certainly not always easy to keep everything straight.

  3. the two minute synopsis of the chief wray era… at connecting*the*dots Says:

    [...] Anthony has a solid timeline of the Chief Wray era, leading right up to the uploading of the RMA document to the public domain sometime yesterday. [...]

  4. Joe Killian Says:

    Nice work. Good to have this all in one place, particularly as it looks like the story is far from over and people will need to catch up.

  5. Janet Edens Says:

    This is really well done. Thanks for directing me and xark readers to it! I enjoyed meeting you and your family as well … and I never did get any banana pudding.

  6. Concerned Citizen/Citizen Will Says:

    Greensboro’s Chief Problem: PleadTheFirst’s Timeline…

    PleadTheFirst’s PotatoStew documents the unfolding drama of Greensboro’s Chief Wray RMA report debacle.
    PotatoStew is an excellent political cartoonist with a great sense of humor (his ‘blogs tagline is “Congress shall make no l…

  7. Gr8ful Coach Says:

    Thanks for posting this – very helpful.

  8. meblogin Says:

    THis is good stuff.
    thanks

  9. Brenda Bowers Says:

    Thank you Anthony. I was on my way to checking N&R for the same material when I was tipped to your site. Haven’t been very actively reading my favorite blogs lately as my knee surgery recovery tho they tell me is going very well you can’t prove it by me. Big time pain. If my left knee goes bad this kid is getting real friendly with her snazzy candy apple red power wheeled chair! Brenda