Not surprising to see a newspaperman come out swinging against prior restraint, but a morsel at the end of John Hammer's column on the GPD surveillance story caught my eye:
Police keep an eye on groups that they think might cause problems all over the country, but in Greensboro they are probably a little more vigilant than in other places because Greensboro had a famous shootout in 1979 between two such groups – the communists and a Klan-Nazi group.
...if the police had been there on site, instead of several blocks away where the march was supposed to take place, the bloodshed would likely have been prevented.
The Klan/shootout was a lot of things, and one of those was a major failure of the Police Department.
I made a similar point here last week about local history and police culture, but more important is the sentence I highlighted, the one where John addresses the events of November 3, 1979 in a way that goes well beyond the tired old two-extremist-groups-from-somewhere-else story that satisfied too many people here for too long. Seeing that hard reality stated matter-of-factly in the pages Greensboro's conservative weekly seems meaningful to me.