Local News

Families of Falsely Arrested Men Face Town Leaders

Posted July 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Five young African-American men say they were arrested for a crime they didn't commit. They also say their race was the only reason they wound up in handcuffs.

The arrests took place in Carrboro in February. Police thought the men they apprehended had broken into a car, but they hadn't. Tuesday night, the five men and their families asked town leaders to take another look at the situation and make some policy changes.

They asked for two things. They want an apology and they want the town to review its police procedure.

It's been five months since Anthony Burrow and four of his friends left a Carrboro apartment complex at about 4 a.m. By the time they reached a nearby intersection they were surrounded by at least eight police officers with their weapons drawn. The men say they had no weapons and had committed no crime.

Jim Burrow, Anthony Burrow's father, says he takes issue with several of the procedures used in the arrest.

Meeting with the men and their families were the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, the police chief, mayor and town manager. The parents asked for and received an apology. They also asked for changes in police procedures regarding race as an arrest issue.

Carrboro Police Chief Dan Callahan says there is still work to be done in terms of communication.

Parent Victoria Walker said she didn't think the meeting accomplished much.

When the meeting ended at 9:30, most parents expressed disappointment with the results. They say their next step is to file a complaint against each officer involved in the February arrest to ensure that there will be a thorough investigation into the matter.