Fayetteville, N.C. – A second suspect was arrested for taking part in the arson of the Fayetteville Market House during a violent and destructive demonstration over the death of convicted criminal George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced.
ATF special agents and local law enforcement arrested Andrew Garcia-Smith, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, after Garcia-Smith was released from a hospital due to burn injuries sustained as a result of his involvement in the arson. Garcia-Smith is charged by complaint with one count of maliciously damaging property owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance. Garcia-Smith made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers, II. Sources say that the Federal path was chosen because it was uncertain if Democrat District Attorney William “Billy” West would prosecute the case under State of North Carolina charges.
According to the complaint, on May 30, 2020, several individuals set fire to the Market House in downtown Fayetteville. During the period of civil unrest, a Facebook Live video showed a male with long hair pulled into a bun, later identified as Garcia-Smith, picking up a bottle of burning liquid and throwing it into the Market House’s door. As Garcia-Smith threw the bottle, a portion of the burning liquid spilled back onto him, causing his hair and clothes to catch on fire. ATF special agents later identified Garcia-Smith as the suspect from the video when he reported to a local hospital with burn injuries shortly after the violent protest.
Fayetteville citizens, especially those in Fayetteville’s Black community, are demanding to know why Chief of Police Gina Hawkins even allowed the violence to go as far as it did in Fayetteville to begin with. It was widely reported that The Fayetteville Police Department (FPD) had received numerous credible warnings that there would be attempts made to damage businesses and set fire to the Market House.
There are many who believe that neither Charles Anthony Pittman nor Andrew Garcia-Smith lives would be destroyed by anywhere from a mandatory minimum seven years (7) imprisonment up to forty (40) years of their lives in prison if Chief Gina Hawkins had only done her job and enforced the laws of the State of N.C. as she swore an oath to do and kept the peace.
Sources within the FPD say that with the assistance of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) they could have easily blocked off the Market House area and the entrances to the Cross Creek Mall and prevented all the damage, theft and arson that needlessly occurred. Sources in the ranks of the FPD state that simply being allowed to heed their oaths of office to enforce the law would have likely deterred these young Black men from even having the opportunity to ruin their lives as they have done. These sources went on to say that a couple Fayetteville Fire Department trucks with water cannons could have been deployed to the market house earlier in the day and could have easily kept rioters and fire away from the area while at the same time remaining within a secured area established by the FPD.
Where do we stand now?
Due to the collective poor, and some say criminally negligent, leadership of Chief Gina Hawkins, Sheriff Ennis Wright, and convicted criminal Mayor Mitch Colvin, the City of Fayetteville and its citizens have incurred thousands of dollars of property damage and theft. And now the irrecoverably destroyed lives and futures of two (2) young Black men lay shredded at the feet of Chief of Police Gina Hawkins, a testament to her poor leadership skills, her fear to act and her self-admitted fear to even being caught in public out of uniform.
Fear such as this is most definitely not a good character trait at all for any law enforcement officer to have. If Chief Gina Hawkins is that scared then then the City of Fayetteville and FPD should at the very least take away all her bullets save one, and demand that she carry that one in her breast pocket so as not to be a danger to herself or others constantly living as she does in quaking fear on the verge of tears as evidenced in the video below.
FPD Code of Ethics
FPD’s Written Directives and Operating Procedures manual specifically states that ethics training will be conducted for all personnel, at minimum, biennially. Apparently Chief Gina Hawkins hasn’t been attending this training. Even more apparent is the fact that she needs to attend it.
AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all persons to liberty, equality and justice.
I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession – law enforcement.
The line officers and detectives, not those who are ensconced in sheltered offices behind desks polishing their desk chairs with their ego driven overly inflated assumptions, but those who actually work the streets of Fayetteville want the citizens to know that Chief Gina Hawkins or her command staff do not speak for them. That privilege belongs to the Fraternal Order of Police, the Southern States Police Benevolent Association and the TPTN News authors who are police officers and their spouses who write under the protective nom-de-plume “editor”.
These line officers and detectives find her and her command staff’s actions to be embarrassing on the whole in addition to being in violation of their department’s own long established policies and its code of ethics. These officers feel that Chief Gina Hawkins and her command staff have violated their code of ethics by;
- not allowing them to safeguard lives and property.
- not allowing them to protect the peaceful against riotous violence and disorder.
- not respecting the Constitutional rights of all persons (especially the business owners) to liberty, equality and justice.
- has not been exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of the department.
- has permitted personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence their decisions.
- has compromised their oath of office and department directives regarding the prompt management of crime and failure of relentless timely prosecution of criminals.
- has not enforced the law … appropriately without fear or favor.
- has not maintained courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule or developed self-restraint as evidenced by the disgustingly cry-babyish video above.
FPD Operating Procedure 4.6.1: Special Event, Passive Protests and Peaceful Demonstrations Planning – Effective Date: 11 December 2014 – It is the intent of the FPD to maintain peace and order during Special Events or Passive Protests and Peaceful Demonstrations. FPD officers will enforce criminal law(s) and civil ordinances when appropriate and will not act, or fail to act, in any manner that favors, or could be perceived as favoritism, towards the special event organizers, protestors, counter-protestors or the business/organization that is the object of the protest or peaceful demonstration. Officers will balance the event participants’ First Amendment Rights with the rights of property owners and members of the general public, as well as ensuring the general public has access to businesses, public roadways and public sidewalks.
Not only did Chief Gina Hawkins and her command staff fail to comply with this policy directive in that they did not “enforce criminal law(s) and civil ordinances when appropriate,“ it is also quite clear that Chief Gina Hawkins failed to “not act, in any manner that favors, or could be perceived as favoritism, towards the special event organizers, protestors.“
Other Rules or Regulation Mandates Violated
FPD Rule or Regulation 6.0.1 Unsatisfactory Performance
Employees shall maintain sufficient competence to properly perform their duties and assume the responsibilities of their position. Employees shall perform their duties in a manner that will maintain the highest standards of efficiency in carrying out the functions and objectives of the department. Unsatisfactory performance may be demonstrated by a lack of knowledge of the application of laws required to be enforced, an unwillingness or inability to perform assigned tasks, the failure to conform to work standards established for the employee’s rank, grade or position, the failure to take appropriate action on the occasion of a crime, disorder or other condition deserving police attention, or absence without leave.
On or about the date of May 30th, 2020 Chief of Police Gina Hawkins and her command staff failed to properly perform their duties and assume the responsibilities of their position by failing to maintain the highest standards of efficiency in carrying out the functions and objectives of the department by failing to take appropriate action on the occasion of a crime, disorder and other conditions deserving police attention by failing to properly utilize the numerous warnings received on or before the date of May 30th, 2020, of the potential for property theft and destruction by arson and other riotous actions and launching a reasonably competent full and complete response to said information designed to inhibit riotous activities and secure threatened property from theft and destruction which they knew, or reasonably should have known was forthcoming.
FPD Rule or Regulation 6.0.4 Failure to Supervise
Supervisors are tasked with ensuring all applicable laws, FPD Rules & Regulations, Written Directives, Operating Procedures, Core Values and City of Fayetteville Policies and Procedures are adhered to by those employees under their supervision. Failure to address observed and/or reported violations, or, failure to supervise and assume a leadership role can be detrimental to organizational efficiency. Failure to supervise can be identified as, but is not limited to: A supervisor’s failure to act or discipline, deliberate indifference, acquiescence and/or the supervisor facilitating, approving, condoning or turning a blind eye to behavior contrary to FPD policy and procedure. Supervisors are expected to perform their duties in a complete, diligent, prompt, professional and satisfactory manner.
Deliberate indifference is when;
- The offending party (Hawkins) knew of the danger to the plaintiff (Fayetteville Citizens), or that the plaintiff (Fayetteville Citizens) suffered some harm
- The offending party (Hawkins) did not properly address the situation
- The inaction of the offending party (Hawkins) resulted in harm or further injury to the plaintiff (Fayetteville Citizens) which they knew, or reasonably should have known, was forthcoming.
On or about the date of May 30th, 2020 Chief of Police Gina Hawkins and her command staff in a display of deliberate indifference contrary to FPD policy and procedure turned a blind eye to the numerous credible warnings received regarding forthcoming property damage, arson and theft to the Market House, surrounding properties and the Cross Creek Mall and failed to perform their duties in a complete, diligent, prompt, professional and satisfactory manner.
FPD Rule or Regulation 6.1.0 Prompt Performance of Duty
Employees shall promptly perform, as directed, all lawful duties required by constituted authority, notwithstanding the general assignment of duties and responsibilities.
On or about the date of May 30th, 2020 Chief of Police Gina Hawkins and her command staff failed to, as directed, promptly perform, neglected to direct the prompt performance of, or hindered by unlawful orders, all lawful duties required by constituted authority in that it took them several hours instead of the normal standard of a few minutes to perform their constitutionally and lawfully mandated duty to respond to scenes of criminal activity which they knew, or reasonably should have known was forthcoming, and perform the duties of securing crimes scenes and arresting criminals.
FPD Rule or Regulation 6.2.1 Neglect of Duty
While on duty, employees shall not engage in any activities or personal business that would cause them to neglect or be inattentive to their assigned responsibilities.
On or about the date of May 30th, 2020 Chief of Police Gina Hawkins and her command staff engaged in demonstrations and protests in violation of FPD Operating Procedure 4.6.1 which was activities and personal business that caused them to be neglectful and inattentive to their constitutionally and lawfully mandated duties to properly prepare and plan for, and inhibit or suppress riotous acts of damage, destruction, arson and theft which they knew, or reasonably should have known was forthcoming.
Chief Gina Hawkins is no more immune from the strictures laid out in a departmental policy than any other law enforcement officer in the FPD. An independent investigation should be opened on Chief Gina Hawkins for this conflict of interest and her unethical blatant violations of several departmental policies. Such blatant violations often being the genesis of the rise of corruption within law enforcement agencies due to the bad examples of incompetency, neglect and unsatisfactory performance it sets for the officers under her command.
Additionally, if you are a victim in any way, or feel that Chief Gina Hawkins has unethically violated her oath of office and departmental policy then here is the appropriate link to the City of Fayetteville Ethics Complaint Form. The City of Fayetteville has had an Ethics Commission since 2010, the result of a 2007 controversy dubbed “ticketgate” in which a traffic citation given to a friend of then Mayor Tony Chavonne was improperly ordered voided by police command staff.
Chief Gina Hawkins needs to make a decision. Is she going to be an impartial Chief of Police whose primary focus is the protection of lives and property of the citizens of Fayetteville or is she going to be a mindless activist marching in riotous property damaging demonstrations, because she can’t be both. They are by law and by the rules and regulations of the City of Fayetteville and the FPD mutually exclusive. There is no middle ground, no arguable wiggle room, and certainly no excuse for her actions.
Now knowing just how far outside of the City of Fayetteville and the FPD rules, regulations, written directives and operating procedures that Chief Gina Hawkins has been acting one would think that it would be in the City of Fayetteville’s best interest to make reparations to all the business owners and other citizens who were victims of these violently destructive riots that Chief Gina Hawkins allowed to happen on her watch.