CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Garry McFadden remembers what he was doing when Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by an officer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).
McFadden was in Greensboro, NC, on business when he received a call about unrest in Charlotte. He returned and thought the situation would have resolved itself.
"So we went to bed," McFadden said. "Then I woke up and the highway is on fire."
McFadden worked more than 30 years with CMPD. He still does part-time work with the department. During the protests, he talked with people who had issues with police and helped coordinate with protesters. He worked behind the scenes so they could gather peacefully in one place so their voices could be heard.
He says there is now meaning to September 20.
"For me, it represents two anniversaries - of the riots and the anniversary of change," McFadden said. "I saw people's lives change. I saw people come involved into something of what they weren't quite sure what they were doing."
The former detective says he has had conversations with many people about their frustrations with police. He says 10 people who were mad at police are now his friends after his conversations. McFadden says they now talk with some of those people every day trying to better understand. He says that's how things can change.
"The programs are good," McFadden said. "The forums are good. The marches are good. The protests are good but until you build relationships and come to some agreement of where you need to go with this - they are just events you are having."
McFadden believes many people have learned lessons from the shooting, he says it's now time to put some action behind those lessons.