Former Greensboro police captain Charles Cherry has developed a reputation amongst Greensboro City Council members for his choice words at council meetings to such an extent that they considered limiting speech and the public comment period at their meetings last summer. Mayor Robbie Perkins, a frequent target of Cherry's criticism, explained his thoughts about speakers like Cherry again this April:
"Frankly, the concern I have is that they are taking away from folks that really need our help," he said. "Some may want to come in and don’t because they don’t want to be in middle of acrimonious discussion."
Today, the saga continues. In a dual complaint/public-information request to the city, Cherry wrote to "Deadbeat, Non Taxpaying, Looking for Preferential Treatment Mayor Perkins and the other eight members of city council." Cherry criticized Perkins' bankruptcy and non-payment of taxes, going on to call City Manager Denise Turner Roth "a corrupt stupid liar."
Cherry has repeatedly argued that the city refuses to investigate his complaints about police misconduct. Roth contends that the city has answered his requests and staff recommends that council not address Cherry directly because of his pending lawsuit against the city.
There is another gem in Cherry's complaint, too:
"Robbie, never forget, I am strengthened by the Mighty God in Heaven. Greensboro, observe the power of a God-fearing man, as I mentally dominate, control and force this corrupt deadbeat mayor to do his job."
He ends the letter by requesting the name, dates, result and amount of money spent on each pending or current lawsuit involving the Greensboro Police Department since January 1, 2010, including outside lawyer fees or estimated cost of staff time based on salary. YES! Weekly asked the city to release the results of Cherry's public-information request to us as soon as it is available to him.
Cherry's case is one of many cited by a report, Our Democratic Mission, released by the Beloved Community Center earlier this year highlighting issues that point to a "subculture of corruption and double standards" in the police department. The center is holding a community meeting on June 13 to discuss issues related to the department.