DuPuy And Albright
Are "Fighting Back" ^
Editorials / Page 4A
Lifestyles / Page 6A
And The P-funk
Entertainment / Page IB
On Center Stage
Sports / Page 6B
Vol. 15, No. 27 Thursday, December 7,1989
THE AWARD-WINNING "VOICE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY"
Still Creating Stir
By WmFRED B. CROSS
Post Staff Writer
John Excell McCombs began a new life last week, but it won't be
easy to escape the past
Despite efforts from Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner, McCombs was paroled
Dec. 1 after serving 13 of 65 years for killing Lany Bullock, a Dur
ham police officer during a drug raid In 1976.
McCombs, a native Charlottean, was a 20-year-old sophomore at
North Carolina Central University when he shot Bullock at his
apartment. He testified that he did not know Bullock was a police of
ficer when he shot him. He currently works at the Windows On Trade
restaurant as production manager and chief buyer.
McCombs Is out on "Intensive parole," which means he can't change
Jobs, leave the city or change his address without permission of the
N.C. Parole Commission. He also must meet with a parole officer as
many as five times per week.
He also Isn't talking to the press.
"I've been advised by my lawyer not to speak to any members of the
press," McCombs, 33, said In a recent phone interview. He Is being
represented by James Ferguson of Charlotte.
But that's not stopping other people from speaking In McCombs' be
half or against It. Gardner said Tuesday In a telephone Interview that
McCombs' parole was "sending the wrong signal to drug dealers and
"I 'm under the Impression that If you kill a police officer In a drug
related crime, that Is the most serious crime," Gardner said. "If you
don't send a strong message today to the people who sell drugs and
buy guns, we'll never get It across.
"The question that needs to be asked Is this: Did this man pay socie
ty the proper amount of time for killing a police officer?" he said. "I
think the parole board has made a mistake and It didn't just start
with them. It started with the man just serving stx years In maxi
mum security for a 65-year sentence."
Gardner has been accused by some political analysts and Demo
crats of using this case to further his own career. He said he got In
volved In the case after hearing of It through the media. Once he had
spK>ken to police officials In Durham, Gardner said he knew a mis
take was about to be made.
"It was a situation I thought was wrong," he said. "After talking to
the parole board I was convinced they were misled to believe that
McCombs did not know he shot a police officer."
Lou Colombo, chairman of the board, said In a telephone Interview
from Raleigh that was not the case. He said the board had been re
viewing the McCombs case for four months.
"The parole board had all the Information available before we
made our decision. Including the additional Information provided by
Lt. Gov. Gardner," Colombo said. "And we went through his file very
carefully, which we had done before."
Colombo also said: "If we felt McCombs was a threat to society, we
would not have made the decision we made."
Larry Bullock, brother of the slain police officer, said he Is unhap
py with the parole board's decision, but said he is not angry with
"He was shown all of the ways to beat the system and he used them
to his advantage," Bullock said. "1 have no reason to be mad at him.
I'm mad at the system."
Bullock said both Gardner and Gov. Jim Martin called him and
said they did not think McCombs should be paroled.
"I can't see how people In power can see something bad happening
and let It happen," Bullock said. "I hope the police officers In Char
lotte are like the ones In Durham. . .To put their life on the line for
soineone you don't even know says a lot. If the public does not stand
Up for them and believe in them, they are less than human."
Gardner said a jury convicted McCombs pf second-degree murder
after hearing McCombs neighbors testify the undercover pxjllce offi
cers Identified themselves. Gardner was outraged by an editorial that
appeared In The Charlotte Observer Monday suggesting otherwise,
calling It "the most irresponsible editorial I've ever read.
They either through Ignorance do not know the facts or are Inten
tionally misleading the public."
Democratic N.C. Rep. Pete Cunningham, along with N.C. Sen. Jim
Richardson. Rep. Howard Barnhill and some concerned citizens,
helped get McCombs paroled. He said he agreed with the Observer's
As far as I m concerned the lieutenant governor is playing poli
tics," Cunningham said. "If you looked back over his past record of
civil rights and human rights, he has not been concerned.
"McCombs has served more time than most prisoners under the
same circumstances. My support of him Is based on his accomplish
ments," Cunningham said. "Secondly, I know he Is not a hardened
criminal as the lieutenant governor and some newspapers have
made him out to be."
McCombs' records have not been made available to the press. Cun
ningham said he Is familiar with McCombs' records and said "he has
See DEBATE On Page 2A
Dominique Mason, 3, and her mother, Vera Ma
son, did a little Christmas shopping Wednesday
at Sun Toys and Gift Shop in Freedom Mall.
There are 18 shopping days before Christmas.
Gantt Still Quiet On Senate
By M. L. LaNEY II
As Ihe Friends of Johnson C-
Smith University filed Into
Grimes Lounge last Thursday
night, there was an obvious air
of anticipation. JCSU President
Dr. Robert Albright made humor
about the fact that he was about
to Introduce a soon-to-be candi
date for the U.S. Senate, former
Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.
Moments later, Gantt took the
podium and the reaction was
one of celebration. The evening's
agenda Included recognition of
the SLAM program, an attempt
to help teenagers through adult
Interaction. The program repre
sents one of the concerns Gantt
contends are fueling his Interest
In the Senate seat Jesse Helms
may tiy to reclaim In 1990.
In his remarks, Gantt's first or
der of business was to remind
his listeners that the Idea of op
posing tree-time Incumbent
Helms remains tentative. There
would be no announcement. But
neither did Gantt fall to note
with gravity his other concerns
for North Carolina's future and
Its underrepresentation In the
national forum. He prepared
statements listing Items that
Gantt perceives as essential to
the continuous growth and sta
bility of the state's overall well
The former mayor seems
poised and primed to run for
Helms' seat. Saturday. In a brief
telephone Interview, Gantt gave
some Insight as to what might
make for a "Run, Harvey, Run"
campaign for the Senate.
Gantt has answered a question
he asked himself regarding
'what the people of North Caro
lina require of a senator?' "It's
time for a change. After 19 years
of a senator like Jesse Helms, I
am going to ask the people of
North Carolina to fire him and
hire me. He is a senatoi who
confines his activities to looking
toward the past.
"He does not deal with people
Issues. He has no Interest In do
mestic matters, areas where our
people are at risk. Our women In
the workplace, child care pro
grams, health care, drug preven
tion ...(and the like), do not enjoy
the favor of Senator Helms."
Gantt characterized Hems’
worldwide hard-line views as
"particularly out of place and
unfortunate" with the continuing
Improvement of East-West rela
tions and In need of serious re
examination. "Don't get me
wrong, "I don't think we can af
ford to forget about the world. At
the same time, I see a need for
more Investment right here at
Asked what was paramount In
his decision to run, Gantt says
the supportiveness of family
members, close friends, long
time business and political
leaders," made him want to ex
plore the possibilities. To defeat
Helms will take lots of money
and Gantt says he believes he
can find the support he'll need.
With an air of optimism, Gantt
conveyed a sense of purpose, a
mission. His possible candidacy
Is a challenge to his party. But
North Carolina's Democrats
must pursue "a course to new
aspirations commensurate with
the complexities that face North
Carolinians today," according to
one local elected official. Some
observers have already made
much-to-do over the racial con
notations inherent If such a
campaign does develop: Gantt,
the black liberal democrat op
posing white conservative Re
publican Helms. Helms' staff In
siders have suggested with
relish that Gantt's liberal con
nections to factions that sup
port Jesse Jackson would make
the race easier for Helms to win.
A Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Parade sponsored by the North
Carolina State Conference of
Branches, NAACP and co
sponsored by the Greensboro
NAACP Branch and WQMG Ra
dio Station will be held on Mon
day, January 15, 1990 starting at
10 a.m. In Greensboro, North
Carolina. A ribbon cutting cere
mony will officially dedicate
Martin Luther King Jr., Drive and
will start the parade. The pa
rade route is approximately 1.5
miles going north on Martin Lu
ther King Jr. Drive and ending at
the Governmental Plaza, down
town Greensboro. To climax the
parade, a rally will be held at the
Government^ Plaza at approxi
mately 1 p.m.
RALEIGH, NC - Michael
("Mike") F. Easley announced
last week that he'll enter the
race for U. S. Senate In 1990.
The seat Is currently held by Re
publican Jesse Helms.
Speaking before supporters at
North Carolina Democratic Par
ty headquarters on Hillsbo
rough Street In Raleigh, Easley
said he wants to serve In the
Senate "because the decisions
our nation makes today are go
ing to shape the twenty- first
century. . . I am deeply con
cerned about the problems fac
ing our country and our state,
and I believe I can make a con
structive contribution toward
Easley, who Is In his second
term as District Attorney of the
13th judicial district (Brun
swick, Bladen and Columbus
Counties), Is widely known for
his tough prosecution of drug
dealers. He has also played a
leading role In developing and
pushing new laws to crack down
on drug traffickers In the state.
The 39-year-old prosecutor Is
sued a challenge to other p>oten-
tlal candidates for the seat to
agree to refrain from negative,
mudsllnglng campaign tactics:
"Like most people who proudly
call North Carolina home, I have
been disappointed by low-road
politics In our state that fall to
reflect the good-hearted decen
cy and integrity of North Caroli
na's people," said Easley. "I In
tend to meet with all opponents
to reach agreement on running
clean campaigns," he added.
See EASLEY On Page 2A
Gaston DA Warns Abusers, Pushers
By MILLICENT LINK
Post Staff Writer
Gaston County district attor
ney Calvin Hamrick Is sending a
warning to all drug abusers and
drug pushers In Gaston County.
As district attorney of the
fourth largest judicial court sys
tem In the state, he plans to
make it hard on the lawless by
not letting them off on misde
Hamrick Is not concerned with
whether or not It Is a drug deal
ers' first offense. "If a drug push
er comes Into my court he is
looking at a felony charge," he
Among the staples of marijua
na and cocaine, dllaudid Is fast
becoming a sought-after drug In
Gaston. The pain killer sells for
about $45-60 on the street. "This
drug Is prevalent among the
streetwalkers and prostitutes."
"Drug addicts commit all dif
ferent types of crimes to support
their habit," he said.
Hamrick said the Increasing
rate of residential breaklns are
drug related. "More than 50 per
cent of residential breaklns and
armed robberies are caused by
drug addiction," he said.
In the past year more than two-
thirds of the DA'S case load has
Included drugs, breaklns, and
The county Is also seeing an In
crease In embezzlement and
check forgery cases committed
by drug users.
"Cocaine has no class barrier,"
said Hamrick. "The poor, mid
dle class, and affluent are en
grossed with drugs."
Hamrick said dealers normal
ly do not use drugs. "They just
sell drugs to acquire material
possessions," he said.
Hamrick Is attacking the drug
problem by repossessing person-
£d property of alleged offenders.
"We are taklilg cars right and
left," said Hamrick, who said po
lice recently repossessed a Pors
che and Cadillac.
In order to crack down on the
drug problem In the county un
dercover cops are walking the
streets. "People don't suspect
that undercover work Is occur
ring," Hamrick said.
Because of the danger that
drugs present many people are
afraid to get involved.
However, Hamrick encourages
the community to call crime pre
vention resources such as Crime
Stoppers, vice squad, or the po
"The caller only has to give an
accurate description, he doesn't
have to Identify himself," Ham
Plan To Move To
By GWENDOLYN DANIELS
Post Staff Writer
Political ambitions will have
to take a back seat to the per
sonal pursuits of two former city
council members who are step
ping out of that arena for a
Ron Leeper, who just finished
the remainder of A1 Rousso's
term as mayor-pro-tem Mon
day, said he wants to get In
volved In community activities,
esjjeclally with youth.
Former District 2 councilman
nelly said he I
getting some |
rest as well |
Leeper said I
he wants to|
focus his at
cause they are faced with drugs
and other negatives of society.
'Young people are having diffi
cult times right now," he said.
"Drugs will be the number one
the next dec
how to com
bat the evils
of drugs Is a
to "jump into
something head first."
"I have to pick and choose the
best way to do this," he said.
As far as politics Is concerned,
Leeper said he won't be getting
Involved In public office for a
few years. He will be eligible for
election to a full two-year term
on council In 1991.
"1 really don't have any per
sonal political plans right now,"
Leep>er, who was appointed by
city council to replace Rous-
sou's In October, said his term
during a crucial period was pos
"I enjoy difficult situations,"
Leeper said. "I Inherited a posi
tion on the council at a time
. when they had difficult deci
sions to make."
Addressing Issues such as
housing for the poor, the need
for an NFL stadium and west-
side concerns were positive ac
"I was able to have some Input
about Issues that have been
near and dear to me for 10 plus
years," Leeper said.
Other personal pursuits for
Leeper are spending time with
his family and business Inter
"I plan to spend some time
with a 15-year-old, my son, and
do some family rebuilding," he
Dannelly said he wants to
"This was a taxing job, more
taxing than people think," he
Dannelly said he wants to re-
Involve himself In community
See PRIVATE On Page 2A
INSIDE THIS WEEK
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