In September of 2018, Marcus Deon Smith, a Black man who had committed no crime, died in the custody of the Greensboro Police Department.
His death was eventually ruled a homicide.
Ian McDowell explores the narrative the City of Greensboro put forth around the death of Marcus Smith, how that narrative was challenged by citizens first, then lawyers, and how the controversy over Smith’s death played out on the streets, in City Council meetings, in the press, and in the courts, for years after his death.
Often lauded as ‘a bubble of blue’ in a red state, Greensboro, NC was home to one of the first Civil Rights sit-ins in 1960, as well as 1979’s Greensboro Massacre, in which Neo-Nazis and the KKK killed five members of the Communist Workers Party. The Marcus Smith case brought to light long standing issues involving the use of force, accountability, and the responsibility of elected officials to respond to the concerns of their community.
I Ain’t Resisting demonstrates how citizens can resist the narratives that arise to justify.
Award winning reporter Ian McDowell wrote over fifty articles about the police homicide of Marcus Smith, and has written about the case for The Assembly and The Police Misconduct Civil Rights Law Review. He has lived in Greensboro for four decades.
Michael Hewlett is a native of Richmond, Virginia, Michael covers courts and law. He was previously the legal affairs reporter at the Winston-Salem Journal, where he and colleagues won the Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information Award. He currently writes for The Assembly.
Brian Clarey is an altweekly veteran of more than 20 years, Brian studied journalism at Loyola University New Orleans. He’s been covering the area in the News & Record, O. Henry Magazine, and Yes! Weekly since 2000. He’s Executive Editor of Triad City Beat.