Graham Police Chief Responds to Release of Protest Videos
Graham Police Chief Mary Cole sent an open letter to the community Thursday in response to the release of body camera footage from an October 31 march in Graham. Police officers and Alamance County Sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray and made several arrests at that October march. Three minutes of edited footage was released by the Raleigh News & Observer. In the written response, Cole admits that officers made some “unprofessional comments” to one another, but said the community needs to understand the context of those comments. Cole wrote: “We ask that the community provides us with grace during rare occasions that we fall short. … Although we always strive for perfection, police officers are also people and they are not perfect. Police officers are like members of any profession and sometimes they make mistakes or fall short of expectations. It is unrealistic to expect officers to abandon all human emotion especially in the midst of volatile situations.” Cole went on to explain that the Graham Police Department handled more than 40 demonstrations in the city in 2020.