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suburban george3

WSPD Sgt Killed at Red Rooster Club

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I think every Triad resident is aware of the shooting of WSPD Sgt. Howard Plouff in the early morning hours of Feb. 23rd at the Red Rooster Nightclub off Jonestown Rd. in NW Winston-Salem. Sgt. Plouff died as a result of his injuries less than 24 hours later and since Keith Antoine Carter, 22 of Winston-Salem, has been arrested and charged with Plouff's death.

Sgt. Plouff was responding to a call for assistance by off duty sheriff's officers working the club. Even though patrons had been "searched" the WSPD confiscated several weapons. This was an event being held at the club by a private promoter. There were hundreds of people there and around time to go home, things got out of hand. Patrons were detained for over 12 hours while the police worked the scene.

The community came together to support Sgt. Plouff's wife and two young daughters. Local business, organizations, institutions, citizens, and Law-enforcement agencies from around the nation have lent their support and sympathy.

While this death of a decorated and honored police officer was senseless, there are potential ramifications for the image of Winston-Salem. Especially on the heels of the revelations that Darryl Hunt was wrongly imprisoned for 18 years for the murder of Deborah Sykes.

Mark Rabil, defense attorney for Carter has questioned why the WSPD was handling this investigation. In other instances when a department loses an officer to a on-duty shooting, the investigation is usually turned over to the sheriff's office or the SBI. That did not happen in this case. Also, since Sgt. Plouff was Caucasian and Carter is African-American, the potential for aggrevating the racial rift in Winston-Salem is huge. There have already been a few instances on morning radio shows where callers have accused the WSPD of 'already having imprisoned the wrong black man before and they're doing it again.'

Tom Keith is the DA prosecuting this case. Just as a note to history, Rabil and Keith have met in court before as they were on the same sides on the Darryl Hunt case as they are in the Carter case.

Before I pose some questions for feedback, I do want say my prayers go out to the Plouff family. They have suffered a sudden and shocking loss of a husband and father. I am proud of how our community has responded to support them in their time of need. We all need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

I also want to extend my prayers and thoughts to Keith Antoine Carter and his family. He does have the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. This will be an extremely trying and stressful time on Keith and his family. They will need strenght to get thru this whatever the outcome.

Has the WSPD handled this correctly or have they potentially alreadly laid the groundwork for a trial for anyone accused of this sensless crime to implode? Will this cause further racial tensions in our town? Could this go down a similar path as the Hunt case? There are still further reprecussions to be felt, the Red Rooster's owner is no stranger to violence at his clubs as he seems to have almost been running from it. Should the city/state pull his permits to operate? He tried to hold a fund-raiser for the family but it seems the community had no support for the Red Rooster's effort. How can this potentially affect the image of Winston-Salem to the state/nation?

(please keep this intelligent, civil, and respectful to all parties. Remember that Keith Carter is presumed innocent until found otherwise at trial. I would hate to see a moderator have to intervene in this topic)

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I am very sorry to hear about the loss of Sgt. Plouff. It was one of the main topics of discussion this past weekend while I was up in the Triad. I am not sure about this previous case, but I think it may be unfair to cast blame against the Winston police for a false imprisonment (as it sounds like people are)---unless they acted in an illegal manner.

Why should the Winston police give up their jurisdiction to the county sheriff's department in this instance? Is this done because the city lacks resources or because people believe the county would be a disinterested party?

I am too concerned about the potential for a racial rift to develop as it seems to do in many cases.

As an aside, a nightclub similar to this one operated in Augusta for years. Every single night it seemed there was a shooting at this place. Finally the city shut it down. Do you think that needs to happen with this place?

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As an aside, a nightclub similar to this one operated in Augusta for years. Every single night it seemed there was a shooting at this place. Finally the city shut it down. Do you think that needs to happen with this place?

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The death of Sgt. Plouff is certainly a sad event, and I feel for his family's loss, as well as the loss to the WSPD. However, some of the infomation released in the days after his death cause me to question in "my mind" some of the tactics being used by the City of Winston Salem.

I think that city officials are letting their emotions speak for them, instead of think things through. Fact: The Red Rooster is a night club. Disagreements and fights DO happen often on the "club" scene. The only way to ensure this never happens again is to close ALL night clubs, not just the Red Rooster. I can't help but feel that the Red Rooster and it's owner(s) are being singled out by the City of Winston Salem. If it were an average citizen that was killed, would the city be going to such lengths.

I can't help but ponder this in my mind; look at the number of people who have been mugged, beaten, and killed at Four Seasons Mall over the past 12 months. Now applying Winston Salem's logic to this, should the City of Greensboro close Four Season Mall?

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This is an interesting issues...

I would normally fall on the side of the club owner here... it is crazy to try to close the business and yand alchol license for one incident... I think that every so often you hear the old winston attitide about night life creep up these days... people always are complaining and pissed off about Burke St. pub for instance... but as far a real problems there have't really been any... remember we are talking about a cith that outlawed sidewalk dining for decades and noone can come up witrh a good reason why that happened...

the thing about the Red rooster is... the club may be mostly incident free... but the club owner... has previous shooting and deaths in his clubs... this is not a guy who just didn;t know... he has had problesm in charlotte with clubs he owned there before..

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Winston-Salem has now filed suit to close the Red Rooster and prevent anytype of club opening in that location again. Citing the Plouff shooting, concern from area residents, and the history of the club; Winston-Salem is seeking the club's closure, preventing any new club from opening, and the revocation of the liqour license from the club's owner.

While I was expecting this, I think this sets a dangerous precedent... I know this location had a high number of calls to the WSPD, but I'm not up to speed on what type of calls they were..

WSJ article about city filing suit to Block Red Rooster from re-opening..

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