Local News

Race Report Gets Mixed Reactions from Residents

Posted August 27, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— After nearly 24 hours of delays, the City Council and the people of Fayetteville finally have the report they've been waiting for.

Cheryl Grant, a Cincinnati attorney hired by the city, released her findings to the Fayetteville City Council Tuesday night after months of study and speculation. Grant said she found no proof of racism in the city police department.

"I can say with some reasonable degree of certainty the city did not commit acts of intentional racism," said Grant.

There were mixed reactions from city residents. Some people felt the report needed to go even further. Other people felt it was honest and right on the mark. But everyone agreed that it has divided the city.

Those who voted to look into racism within the police department grilled Grant, but her story didn't change. She would only go as far to say that the department did not handle inquiries into racial problems well. The price tag for the report was $50,000.

Some people felt the report was a waste of money.

Others were pleased with Grant's report.

It appeared that people on both sides of the heated debate now want the same thing.

"Let me know what we need to do to bring this community back together," said James Smith, City Council member.

"Where are we going from today, forward," said Raymond Shipman, NAACP director. "So therefore, if everyone puts their positive hat on, thinks positive, then positive things will happen."