Categories
City Council

Whiteness, Wealth, and Bureaucracy Conspired to Kill Charlotte’s BLM Plaza

The injection of Black lives into white, wealthy space proved too much. So Charlotte City Council voted last week to allow cars and trucks to grind our Black Lives Matter mural into oblivion. On South Tryon Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we had made a promise to […]

Categories
Election 2020

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

The humdrum work of democracy unfolded in the gymnasium of Cochrane Collegiate Academy. There, on the east side of Charlotte, voters who live in Mecklenburg County’s Precinct 3 cast their ballots last week for public offices ranging from the presidency to the local soil and water conservation board. About ten poll workers — all of […]

Categories
CMPD

Police Reform Sputters From Failure of Imagination

Behold the human imagination! Author of the cave drawings of Lascaux, Great Pyramid of Giza, and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; written language, Euclidean geometry, and astrophysics; Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam; classical music, jazz, and rock; the steam engine, jumbo jet, and lunar rover. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder earlier this year at […]

Categories
CMPD

Survey: Charlotte Cops’ Approval Rating At Only 45%

Most people do not approve of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s performance, according to a survey conducted by CMPD. A majority also believes the department should be subject to additional independent oversight. “We have no legitimacy as a police department if we don’t have the support of our community,” Deputy Chief Sherie Pearsall said at a […]

Categories
CMPD

Outside Agitators Fill the Ranks of Charlotte’s Police

As protests roiled Charlotte this summer in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, local officials trotted out a reliable trope to cast doubt on the authenticity of the demonstrations. “There were outside agitators,” Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said on June 1. “The agitators started throwing things, they started doing things, and guess what happened […]

Categories
City Council

Voter Suppression Comes to Charlotte

City Council silenced the voices of nearly 63,000 Charlotteans this week. The setting was a day-long meeting at which the city’s elected officials and top administrators discussed a wide range of issues, including the city budget, COVID relief, potential changes to the city’s form of government, and reform of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. As a […]

Categories
City Council

City Attorney Hires Outside Counsel to Investigate Corrupt Councilman

Charlotte’s city attorney has referred an ethics complaint against Councilman Tariq Bokhari to outside investigators. The complaint alleges that Bokhari has engaged in a years-long pattern and practice of using his public office to further his private financial and business interests. This violates the city’s policy prohibiting elected officials from “us[ing] their official position for […]

Categories
The Charlotte Way

So Far, Half-Measures and Hollow Promises Define CMPD “Reform”

City Council will soon decide whether real change is coming to law enforcement in Charlotte. What’s been done so far is not encouraging. Consider, for example, how elected officials and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department leaders described the city’s recent compliance with the 8 Can’t Wait initiative, a suite of minimalist changes advanced by Campaign Zero, which […]

Categories
Police Violence

As CMPD Let Him Die, Harold Easter Talked of God, Family, and Death

Harold Easter asked the cops, “Y’all gonna let me die in here?” They would. Harold’s question came about ten minutes into his detention in a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department holding room on January 23, 2020. Within an hour of entering the room, Harold, who was Black, collapsed. He died a couple days later. The cops brought […]

Categories
Police Violence

Release CMPD’s Use of Force Reports

Charlotte cops document their violence in reports filed with, and reviewed by, the police department. But the public — those on whom violence is inflicted — can’t see the reports. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s position is that so-called use of force reports, including those that were completed following officers’ June 2 ambush of citizen-protesters with chemical […]