WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Two days after Travis Page died after being taken into Winston-Salem police custody, the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, along with city leaders, called a press conference to demand the release of the footage captured by the body cameras on the officers involved.
“We wanted a thorough investigation. We wanted the videos released in a timely manner,” said Bishop Todd L. Fulton, president of the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity.
Last month, after the close of the investigation which cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, the videos were released by District Attorney Jim O’Neill. Over a month later, the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity called another press conference with three topics to be discussed; the timeframe of the release of the police body camera video, the use of force by the officers and the lifesaving efforts of the officers.
“It was very emotional for us to watch the tapes,” Bishop Fulton said.
The press conference was the site for the conference’s announcement that they believe the officers acted in line with their training, with members putting their support behind the officers.
“The video, as well as the other information, clearly shows that the officers acted in a professional manner and really did heroic actions to try to save Mr. Page’s life,” said Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines.
The speakers added that the entire police department, as well as District Attorney O’Neill, acted properly while dealing with the aftermath of Page’s death.
“Simply putting it, I believe that after the death of Travis Page, everyone did their job,” said Winston-Salem City Councilman James Taylor.
During the original press conference, Rev. Alvin Carlisle said, in part, there would be “no rest or peace” until the conference got the information they desired. However, in the months following, there was no violence or major uproar within the community.
“This is an example of how the community pulled together in the time of tragedy and actually got it right,” Taylor said.
As a whole, there was a feeling that the tragedy which was Page’s death leaves a feeling that citizens can trust the actions of the city’s police department.
“We all can feel confident that we as African-American males, and females and citizens, will not be violated,” Bishop Fulton said.
Rev. Carlisle also said that they had a chance to speak with the officers involved, saying they expressed “that this situation has been somewhat of a strain upon them and their families. We took the opportunity to express that our prayers and support were with them.”