CMPD crafts ordinance to impact Occupy Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -- From police headquarters officers can see the colorful tents of Occupy Charlotte spread out on the lawn of the old city hall on Trade Street.

Police and protestors have had a polite, almost helpful relationship the past six weeks; however that relationship could soon be tested.

Captain Jeff Estes with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department says CMPD is crafting an ordinance to further regulate protests and picketing. He said the ordinance would regulate certain behaviors. Camping on city property could also be part of it.

"I heard about that. We've got legal team representing us at city council," said Occupier Scotty Foster. He's been camping out with the movement the past four weeks.

Right now, there's not a single city ordinance to force them out. The space is considered a public forum.

Protestors are using bathrooms in government buildings, some have even gotten mail at the old city hall, and the security cost is adding up.

According to CMPD the total cost is more than $137,000.

Foster questions the cost, not the right to be here.

"I can't speak for everybody, but when I came here, I decided to stay."

CMPD gave no timeline for the presentation to City Council. Council member Andy Dulin said he supports the discussion, but would like to wait until Mayor Anthony Foxx returns from a trip to China.

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