In March, an independent study commissioned by the Durham Police Department found what most people in Durham already knew: Durham police pull over black male drivers at a disproportionately high rate. The news was particularly unsurprising to C. Scott Holmes, an attorney and N.C. Central professor who has been studying the DPD independently for several years now. With the help of his law students, Holmes compiled statistics showing that 90 percent of those charged with nonviolent “resist, delay, and obstruct”sometimes known as “contempt of cop”in Durham in the last eighteen months were people of color.
“People have been suffering on the streets, bleeding, dying in Durham for years, and every step of the way the police have said there’s no problem, everything’s fine,” Holmes said at a press conference following the DPD’s study. He called for more accountability in the department and more action from our elected leaders. If those things ever come, it’ll be due in no small part to Holmes’s dogged efforts.