Citizen Expressed Being Harassed After Speaking to New Bern Board of Aldermen

New Bern Citizen being escorted out of Board of Aldermen Meeting
Rebecca Tindall being escorted out of Board of Aldermen Meeting

New Bern Resident Rebecca Tindall voiced her concerns about safety at City Hall during the Petition of Citizens session of the Board of Aldermen meeting on May 10, 2022.

During a prior BOA Meeting she talked about the vulnerability of Union Point Park. Watch the video here.

During last night’s meeting, Tindell described why she felt unsafe. She was talking about an incident that happened after the BOA meeting on April 12 — “I stayed to the end of the meeting, I went to the bathroom, I came out of the bathroom, I was at the top of the stairs, I looked down, Michael and Carol More were in the middle of the steps to the back against the wall. I didn’t think anything of it. I proceeded down the steps. As I got closer to Carol More, she proceeded to say, Oh, do we still have to talk about this? Are you still going to talk about this? I looked at her, I did not engage in conversation with her. I proceeded to go down the steps. I was walking fairly quickly. I’m not sure who tried to grab me or who touched me. But someone touched my arm.”

Mayor Dana Outlaw interrupted and said, “Miss Tindall, this is an opportunity to talk about city events. This is not an opportunity to get into any type of debate or forum about personal issues that you might have with individual citizens. I would suggest that you take that up with a civil court. Do you have anything germane to the functions of the city of New Bern that you’d like to talk about during the four minutes besides character assassination of individuals? Without specifically naming names.”

Tindall continued, “First of all, we need to have safety in City Hall. I’m in City Hall and I’m practicing my First Amendment right to speak. But this should be a safe place for everyone to speak no matter what they’re speaking out about. So as I was saying, as I continued down the stairs, Carol More was following me down the stairs.”

The Mayor said she was out of order and struck the gavel. She continued, “I was in City Hall and I was being harassed. Nobody at City Hall should be harassed. This is about safety for your freedom of speech. I came because there is a concern about the park. At no point should someone meet me or two people meet me in the middle of the steps where I found out there was no cameras. If that’s true or not, I don’t know this is what I’ve been told. So as I continued down the stairs, Carol More followed me down.”

Gaveling persisted and the Mayor called out, “You are out of order.”

Tindall continued, “…they decided to go back up the stairs and they reported to someone on this board. Who did they report to?”

As she was being escorted out by the police, she repeated the need for safety measures to be in place and said, “This is the safest way for me to go down the steps…with the officers because I know that’s going to be safer. Thank you very much.”

Although the content of speech during the Petition of Citizens should be directed to the BOA, not city employees or anyone else, I included the names of the couple because I witnessed their harassment on three separate occasions at City Hall. I also attended the BOA meeting the night Rebecca Tindall was referring to and they were present.

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By Wendy Card, Editor