DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham county officials say the Bull City United employee who was allegedly caught with crack cocaine last week has been fired, and another faces a separate gun charge, according to court documents.
A Durham County spokesperson said Thursday that Nicole Taybron was fired Tuesday, one week after the 40-year-old outreach worker was arrested for possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine.
Taybron was hired earlier this month to serve as an outreach worker for the group Bull City United, made up of violence interrupters and outreach workers who conduct mediations and work to prevent shootings in target areas of the city.
According to the incident report CBS 17 obtained from Durham Police, it shows Taybron was arrested at a home in the 100 block of Laurel Avenue, which is located near the Edgemont Elms neighborhood, a community Bull City United currently works in to prevent crime.
According to the arrest warrant, Taybron was caught with 7 grams of crack cocaine and was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver.
CBS 17 also learned on Thursday that another Bull City United employee, 41-year-old Rodriguez Smith, was cited last week on an unrelated misdemeanor charge.
According to court documents, Durham Police pulled Smith over at the intersection of Main Street and Elizabeth Street on September 14th. Smith was cited for concealing a gun without a permit.
CBS 17 confirmed with Bull City United that Smith was hired to be a violence interrupter for the group on June 20, 2022.
Bull City United received more than $1 million in funding from Durham County and the City of Durham last year.
The group’s job is to work in six different areas of the city and to prevent shootings through interventions and mediations.
According to the latest report from Bull City United, the group conducted 1,365 mediations in the last year.
At the Durham City Council meeting on Monday night, Durham resident Jontae Dunston spoke in support of the work Bull City United is doing in the community.
“I’m seeing what these young brothers and young sisters are doing in the community,” Dunston said. “We shouldn’t let one individual take away the resources that these individuals in the city and a group of leaders in the city are trying to do.”
But as violence continues to plague Durham, with an average of two shootings happening per day in the Bull City, some community activists and residents are voicing their concerns after hearing about these charges.
“We need to know we can trust the ones they are hiring,” said Sheryl Smith, a Durham community activist.
Smith argues that the county needs to make sure this group is doing what they can to stop the violence.
“Parents are looking for help for their children to keep them out of trouble, we don’t need people that’s in trouble coming around the kids,” Smith said.
Many of the Bull City United employees have criminal backgrounds, because they have to be familiar with the target areas they are working in.
CBS 17 has reached out to the county multiple times in the last week to find out what the process is for screening these employees before they are hired, but they have not answered our questions.