Protest sign sidetracks Salisbury City Council
By Noelle Edwards
Perhaps one of the biggest events at Tuesday’s Salisbury City Council meeting wasn’t on the agenda.
Part way through the meeting, Price Crutchfield, a 60-year-old Concord resident, raised a sign from where he was sitting that said “Warning: Concord police lying under oath in court.”
Soon after, Mayor Susan Kluttz called a recess, which City Clerk Myra Herd said after the meeting was to allow a police officer to ask Crutchfield to remove his sign.
Crutchfield wanted to speak at the meeting, but public comment is part of only the second council meeting each month, so he put his sign just outside the door and sat through the rest of the meeting quietly.
Doug Paris, assistant to the city manager, said signs and placards aren’t allowed during council meetings as a rule.
Crutchfield said he doesn’t understand the difference between letting someone speak during public comment and letting someone hold a sign voicing an opinion.
His gripe is with Concord police, yet he brought the sign to a Salisbury public meeting because he wants to tell as many people as possible he thinks he has been wronged. He regularly attends Concord City Council meetings to voice grievances, and he has started attending meetings in Huntersville, too.
He said he has been arrested 15 times in Concord and Charlotte but convicted only once. The police have it out for him, he said. He said he thinks he has been targeted because of his politics ó he’s a Democrat ó and his religion ó he’s Muslim.
His accusation that Concord police lie under oath comes from what he says is his sole conviction, when he said police told a judge he was cursing and harassing police officers and their families in restaurants. He said no such incident ever happened.
The North Carolina Department of Corrections online database doesn’t list a Price Crutchfield as ever having been convicted.
He is trying to raise awareness of the rights people have for information to be public. To that end, he is preparing a petition that he wants 5,000 signatures on, though he hasn’t completely decided what the petition will say. Already, he is collecting signatures on the back of his sign as a symbolic gesture.
He has also sued the police department in Concord, he said.
And he said he will be back in Salisbury to speak at City Council meetings, collect signatures for his petition and tell people about their rights.