Deadly CMPD shooting brings up old wounds, unanswered questions - | WBTV Charlotte

Deadly CMPD shooting brings up old wounds, unanswered questions


The recent deadly shooting of Jonathan Ferrell has opened old wounds over police oversight in Charlotte.

Even with a separate body, some in the community say the Citizens Review Board lacks power.

They want an independent panel to investigate allegations of officer misconduct in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

The Citizens Review Board has heard cases 78 times, and every time they ruled in favor of police.

The shooting of Windy Gail Thompson in late 1993 started the debate.

James Willie Cooper's case re-ignited the rallying cry.

Carolyn Sue Boechettier death became the community's tipping point.

All three happened in the 90's and involved unarmed African Americans.

Civil Rights attorney James Ferguson was among those fighting for the board.

"Those of us advocated for a community review board had hoped for a board that would have some power, "he said. "What we wound up with was a Civilian Review Board, but one only in name only. It's not a review board that has any real power."

Community pressure was applied for several years.

State representative Kelly Alexander, Jr., says the current case and dialogue offers the community a sobering reminder.

"Maybe we're beginning to learn that prevention is better than cure, and that we're at a point now that we can pull all of the relevant pieces together so there won't be a next time," Alexander said.

Alexander gives CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe high marks for the handling the case.

Ferguson agrees, but remains convinced that the city's efforts go only so far.

"I think chief Monroe is doing a good job, but it's still the police policing the police and we need some power of a citizens review board to have meaningful input in that process. We don't have that now," Ferguson said.

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