The Chapel Hill Police Department’s heavily armed raid on a group of squatters in a vacant building on Franklin Street last Sunday has caught elected leaders’ attenion in neighboring Carrboro.
On his Facebook page and local blog orangepolitics.org this week, Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton posted a 3,000-word essay on the challenges of being committed to non-violence while still being in charge of a police force. Chilton decided last week to send Carrboro police to assist Chapel Hill in case violence erupted. And while he supports the police, he also worries what impact the tactical team response may have.
“Now I fear that Sunday's display of force from CHPD will entrench many of the protesters in their rejection of non-violence as a basic organizing principle,” Chilton wrote. “This is what Dr. King meant when he so famously said "Violence begets violence." Each new act of violence only encourages the other side to escalate. And where does it all end? And what does it all accomplish?”