Wake board member, police chief 'agree to disagree'

Posted August 10, 2010

— The Wake County school board member caught in the flurry of police activity at the July 20 board meeting met recently with Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan, but he didn't get an apology for police actions that day.

Keith Sutton said he told Dolan the show of force and number of officers who responded to protests both inside and outside the board's meeting that day was excessive.

Nineteen people, including the head of North Carolina's NAACP chapter, were arrested at the meeting. Sixteen of the arrests came after screaming and unrest erupted during a public comment period of the meeting.


The protesters held hands, locked arms and chanted against resegregation, refusing to leave the podium. More than a dozen officers intervened and took the protesters to a Division of Prisons inmate transfer bus.

Sutton was briefly caught in a scuffle between protesters and police before authorities realized who he was.

Sutton said he went into the crowd to try and calm things down and encourage officers not to use such strong force. He said he felt insulted that he almost got arrested and believes the officer who tried to detain him owes him an apology.

Dolan did not provide any apology in their meeting, Sutton said. The chief told Sutton why he should not have involved himself in the standoff.

The pair "agreed to disagree," Sutton said, but they better understand each other's perspective as a result of the meeting.


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  • Mugu Aug 12, 2010

    I fully back Dolan.

  • Lead by Example Aug 11, 2010

    Great job Chief Dolan, thank you for standing by your officers!!! That school board member should not have tried to tell the police what to do.

  • com_mon_sents Aug 11, 2010

    Bless the Chief of RPD...he couldn't have said it better..."agree to disagree". I don't blame him one bit for not bowing down to Sutton and his reasons for getting in the middle of police business. If Sutton had kept himself out of the room like the other board members were instructed, nothing would have happend.
    POLICE were doing what they were suppose to do and instructed to do...simple as that!

    way to go Chief!!!!!!

  • dhilliard2 Aug 11, 2010

    High five for the police chief for not giving Sutton the apology. Sutton should not have been involved in the scuffle to begin with. I think he used this as a opportuntiy to put the "15 mintues of fame" light on himself.
    BOOOOOO to Sutton!

  • illegals--GO HOME Aug 11, 2010

    Sutton has a lot of nerve expecting an apology. It is he who should apologize to the officers that were there to do their jobs. He knows nothing of trying to do crowd control and arrest protestors, whether they be passive or violent. His job is on the school board and his behind should have stayed in his seat. I am sure they had microphones...why didn't Sutton call for the crowd to stop what they were doing using the microphone? Just sayin' is all.....

  • NCAries Aug 11, 2010


    I thought the same thing...

  • teachnow Aug 10, 2010

    Sutton should be the one to apologize! He had no business getting involved with a police matter!

  • ForTheLoveOf Aug 10, 2010

    Unless an officer asks for help, or as a citizen you ask for permission to assist, during the flurry of activity, it is hard to determine who and who is not the bad guy. I do find it interesting that Mr. Sutton would say that the "force as excessive". I wonder if he's ever had to restrain or forcibly maneuver someone's hand behind their back when they are unwilling to do so.

  • The Big E Aug 10, 2010

    Thank God for a Police Chief with guts!

  • ajeralddavis Aug 10, 2010

    this could have gone south. If you see the police trying to arrest a guy will you get involved? no allow him to utilize his training and apprehend the guy. same senario!