Raleigh Mayor Wants Full Disclosure About Police Officer's Termination
Posted February 7, 2006 7:01 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker wants full disclosure in a shooting involving a city police officer who was fired last month.
Meeker said Tuesday that questions from the public remain about the shooting, in which authorities say Michelle Peele, 33, shot and killed Nyles Arrington last August as he was trying to drive away in her personal vehicle. She was working as a guard at a restaurant when, authorities said, she fired one shot that hit Arrington, 42.
Peele, an employee since 1998, was fired from the Raleigh Police Department last month, one day after a Wake County grand jury decided not to indict her on manslaughter charges.
Meeker said the results of an internal investigation, which are rarely disclosed to the public, can offer an explanation.
"This is not something customary -- it's not something we're going to do every day, but given that a citizen has been killed and a police officer's employment terminated, I think it is appropriate in this situation to disclose the report," Meeker said.
The Raleigh Police Department has not commented on Meeker's request, only saying that it is the City Council's decision to release the report to the public.
Even though the information discovered in the internal investigation is confidential, state law allows a city manager to disclose it with the Council's approval.
Raleigh Town Manager Russell Allen said Tuesday he did not think the investigation's findings should be released in its current form.
Attorney Michael McGuinness, who is representing Peele, said his client is being treated unfairly and that despite previous reports, Arrington was armed.
"(The report) will tell you there was a loaded handgun that was in that car with him at the time," McGuiness said.
But Arrington's widow's attorney said that is not true.
"Ms. Peele, from her own mouth, said on the 911 tape that he was not armed," said attorney Mark Key.
The City Council did not make a decision on the mayor's request, with members saying they needed more time to consider it.