GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A rally outside of the Greensboro City Council Chambers pushed for justice for Marcus Smith.
Smith died while in police custody in September 2018. Officers’ body camera footage captured Smith walking in and out of traffic asking for help. Police ended up restraining Smith tying his hands and feet together.
The medical examiner’s report revealed Smith death was due to the combination of drugs and heart disease. It also noted that the way he was restrained helped lead to cardiac arrest.
The district attorney says the officers involved demonstrated patience and did not find any wrongdoing on their part.
But Smith’s family believe otherwise.
“We want to get rid of the police chief because we feel like if he was so willing to try to cover up this death. There's tons that he's probably tried to cover up or did a cover-up,” said Kim Suber, Smith’s sister.
After the rally, the more than 50-member group made their way inside of the Greensboro City Council town hall meeting Monday afternoon. Most of them voiced their concerns about the firing of the police chief and some sort of accountability to be held up against the officers involved.
The #JusticeForMarcusSmith Coalition presented a petition with 100,000 signatures requesting to terminate the police chief from his current job.
Heated back and forth moments between members of the council and the speakers occurred for several minutes.
Mayor Nancy Vaughn demanded order during the session.
Councilwomen Michelle Kennedy and Sharon Hightower told the group they would push for a resolution to request an independent investigation into the Marcus Smith case. The crowd cheered and clapped in response to what was done.
“We're not going anywhere at all until we feel comfortable and until we feel satisfied that justice has been done for my brother,” Suber said.
The council plans to discuss the resolution of conducting an independent investigation at the next council meeting. They told the supporters that this would take research into what an independent investigation entails.