In a way — knowing how Charlotte and the Uptown crowd operate — I am not surprised. But in another way — informed by what effective, open, and responsible local government should look like — I am stunned.

The matter of Ofc. Marcus Jackson is not some quick gotcha moment. It goes to the core competency of a vital city function — perhaps the vital function of city government. The city holds an awesome power, the power to enforce our laws with deadly force if need be. This leaves the city responsible to demonstrate — at all times, 24/7 — that the management of those powers is in competent, judicious hands.

Then along comes Marcus Jackson. Something clearly went wrong. CMPD said its screening process was faulty, but assures us they’ve fixed that. City manager Curt Walton hints at some other CMPD policy has changed, but won’t tell anyone what that might be. And we’re done — according to official Charlotte.

City councilmen toss out the absurd on its face claim that even viewing Jackson’s CMPD file in private sets a dangerous precedent — as if they think CMPD will regularly arrest one of their own on felony sexual abuses while on duty. Note — one more time — that this precedent-setting argument is wholly inconsistent with the one-bad-apple argument advanced by the same council members. Either Jackson sets a precedent or is an isolated incident — pick one.

But logically consistent policy is clearly not a city goal. Ducking and covering and avoiding embarrassment is city staff’s singular goal. Twisting, squirming half-truths are perfectly acceptable in pursuit of that. After all, if city council does not care, turns a blind eye and a deaf ear, what can the public do about it?


Bonus Observation: We’ve emailed the five very basic still unanswered questions about CMPD’s handling of Jackson prior to his arrest to the Republican members of city council since they repeatedly said last night that they had all the answers they needed. We’ll let you know what we get back — if anything.

Special Bonus Observation: It just kills me that we basically already know what will happen with both the civil and criminal matters involving Jackson — the city likely will settle for six-figures and Jackson likely will plead to lesser charges to spare everyone a trial — yet we remain completely in the dark about Jackson’s recent past with CMPD.

Update: Andy Dulin responds via email:

Morning Jeff,

We have not seen the files. Chief Monroe and his folks and Manager Walton and his folks are all over these issues.

During his trial, I’m sure we will learn about multiple errors.

Those errors will be fixed.

So Rodney Monroe actually told council yesterday afternoon that this is all going to come out in a criminal trial that almost certainly will not happen? I can’t handle this, I’m losing my mind…