FROM STAFF REPORTS

Calls for increased transparency within the Statesville Police Department and the removal of a monument to the memory of Confederate soldiers were made during the public comment portion of Monday’s Statesville City Council meeting.

Genesis Houpe read the inscription on the Civil War monument, which is located in front of the Iredell County Government Center, and described the statue as “a physical representation of a very dark period in our history. … We should join the rest of the world in removing these relics. They represent a time that should not be celebrated.”

As of Monday night, more than 1,300 people have signed an online petition calling for the monument’s removal.

Police transparency

Speaking on behalf of a group called Times4Change.com, Katie Solano said they are forming a Community Police Oversight and Review Board. “We are simply asking for transparency within our police department. Our review board would allow members of the community to come to us with any complaints they don’t feel comfortable addressing themselves,” Solano said. “I don’t think it’s asking too much for our police to tell us when officers do wrong. I think that would give a lot of people in the community hope.”

Makayla Edwards noted that there had been 18 prior complaints against the Minnesota officer who killed George Floyd. “There should not be any problem with providing complaints against the police, yet there are. That shows there is problem,” Edwards said. “We do not believe all cops are bad, but they do all need to be held accountable for their actions. If you truly want this community to thrive, we need to trust our police.”

James Sprinkle said the community has a right to know about the policies that guide police work in our community.

“The Statesville Police Department training policy needs to be made public. If they are trained on how to use a gun, are they trained on how to de-escalate a situation? We want to make sure people in authority are trained properly to serve and protect as they are sworn to do,” Sprinkle said. “When people truly believe the police department is properly trained, there will be no need for fear.”

Substandard Housing 

Several members of the public also spoke about the need for better housing standards in the city.

Lisa Standish said there are residents living in unsafe conditions, including homes with mold, leaking roofs, no hot water, and no working facilities for personal hygiene.

“Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe housing, and this is not happening on the Southside. The City of Statesville is failing its legal responsibilities,” Standish said. “Residents must be allowed to withhold rent until catastrophic issues are resolved.”

“We need to give the people in my community something to be proud of. You have to put up with mold. You have to put up with roaches. Some houses don’t even have heat,” said Latoya Imes. “I hope we’ll take a more focused look on the Southside of Statesville.”

11 thoughts on “Citizens press Statesville council for police transparency and oversight, improved housing, and removal of Confederate monument

    • David is exactly correct, ALL the liberal mobsters see an opening to jump on the “socially correct ” bandwagon instead of doing what’s right and actually acting like a true American and defending NOT destroying American history. This BS will continue until EVERY piece of American history is destroyed, next it will be text literature in schools, libraries, etc.
      This country, companies and individuals are just pushed and shamed into doing whatever communist left party wants ie: #blacklivesmatter and they push until they conquer, even the shameful local examples like “Lakewood Park.” Why in the world did that park EVER have to be changed???
      If you weak-minded leftist don’t wake up , pretty soon you will have to ask the powerhouse powers that be if you can go tinkle in your own home which will eventually become theirs as well … Enjoy the freedoms you have now because they will ALL disappear very soon if we don’t make a stand NOW !!!!

  1. Nancy Williams says:

    NO I do not agree to destroying or removing a monument that in honor of a military that fought and died for their beliefs and family.. we are not that petty in Statesville.. ok I believe that better housing is an issue… and all rental north/south should pass health dept. inspections..or be vacant…who does that inspection now????and who enforces it??? work on that and leave our ancestors alone!!!

    • Elijah Houpe says:

      Your ancestors were slave owners plain and simple. They fought, died for the right to continue owning, beating, raping and killing of SLAVES. And they lost the war by the way. It’s really bizarre how you can say “I do believe that better housing is an issue” and acknowledge that is a problem, but be completely oblivious as to why it’s not ok for these racist monuments to continue standing all while knowing its true “heritage.”

  2. If we are to remove all things that offend then we should look at the Washington monument to be removed as George Washington did indeed have hundreds of slaves. As well we should look at writing off Ben Franklin as he only released his slaves when he was an elderly man. Yes Washington did free his slaves at his death, but his wife’s family owned 150 slaves that were not freed. They were simply passed on to living heirs as the chattel they were being treated as. While I really do not care whether we make gravel out of the statues or leave them in place, I do think America needs to examine the ramifications of their actions. I am sick of the color of the person being a lightning rod to instigate. My neighborhood has gone from 100 percent white in 1990 to 50 percent white and I like it the way it is. If a person works hard and abides by the morals of society there is a way out and up. The emphasis is on work. Not given. I welcome all dialogue that would be constructive.

  3. Please don’t remove our statue. It’s history. Our world has gone crazy. Keep on and we will be in another war. The past is the past. People worry about these things. Need to be worring about the Lord and he is coming back soon. You took him out of everything. That’s the problem.

  4. I think the monuments having NOTHING to do with what is going on today. If it offends you, then you need a history lesson. Let’s grow up a little bit and more forward with life.

  5. Alan Eisele says:

    Abe Lincoln did not want to annihilate the South, but to reconcile it to the Union. These acts are punitive and divisive.

  6. That monument has never forced anyone to look at it. How do you expect people to like and respect you when all you do is whine and claim any and everything that offends you personally should be taken away. Show respect to other people’s beliefs and ways and it will be returned. If not then that’s on them.

  7. Black Goddess says:

    I personally would like a statue of Hitler right outside the courthouse. Since we’re reminding everyone of history. That was an important time too and if one race is to be offended let’s offend everyone equally.

    • Yes Ma’am,you make a very good point. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. And I would respect it and leave it alone, regardless of what I thought of it.

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