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Complaint Filed Against New Hanover Police over Alleged Racial Incident
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent
2019-08-07

            The New Hanover Police Department is facing internal scrutiny following a formal complaint lodged by former officer Keith Youse and his wife Sandy.

            Sandy Youse read an emotional statement before the New Hanover Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Thursday, August 1. 

            She described an incident that occurred earlier this year when her husband, now retired and on disability, went to retrieve his belongings from police headquarters. Because Keith Youse was unable to carry the boxes himself, township manager Jamie Gwynn and former officer Dennis Psota loaded them into the car.  Psota pointed out to Gwynn that an egg roll had been placed on top of the box.

            Sandy Youse is of Asian descent. She stated that it was "not the first racial action" made by a member of the New Hanover Police Department.  She tearfully added, "I certainly don't feel safe anymore." Her statement was met with applause from the couple's supporters who were in attendance.

            Board chairman Chuck Garner stated "We take all complaints very seriously."

            Solicitor Andrew Bellwoar said the matter is currently under investigation and that anyone who has any information about the incident should submit it in writing.

            In development news, attorney Mark Jonas attended the meeting representing the New Hanover Town Center development planned for the south side of Swamp Pike near the intersection of route 663.

            Jonas stated that twenty waivers for the plan were granted in 2007, and the developers were seeking five more. Bellwoar said that "we have to look at the plan as it's been revised," and that the "consultants have to look at the revised plan to see if the waivers are still applicable."

            Township planning commission member Sue Smith, in attendance at the meeting, commented that the township's ordinance had been "dovetailed" for this development, so it shouldn't need any waivers.

            Garner noted that the issues that were at hand with the development moving forward were the waivers and the status of the waivers, unified development, designation of roads, and berms. He said that it is "a huge project, a lot of residential units," and that he was "very concerned about the construction sequence," and specifically ending up with 800 residential units and no commercial development. He stated that the supervisors still did not have a clear answer on that.

            Discussions will continue with staff and consultants on the ongoing issues.

            In parks news, the township's annual Fall Frolic is scheduled for September 7 from 12 to 5:00 p.m. and will feature rides for children and vendors.

            In zoning news, a conditional use hearing was held for an application for an accessory use by Kelli Angelo to have a one–chair beauty salon in her home at 1791 Swamp Pike.  Following the hearing her application was approved.

            The supervisors met in executive session prior to and following the meeting to discuss personnel matters, litigation, and potential litigation.


 

 

 

 

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