Wives of officers send message to Mayfield at Charlotte City Council meeting

(photo source: Payton Walker)
(photo source: Payton Walker)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In recent weeks the Charlotte City Council meetings have been packed with police officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The CMPD officers have been pushing city leaders for a better pay plan.

On Wednesday night, it was not the officers, but their wives who took center stage in front of city leaders.

Several women wearing matching t-shirts attended the council meeting to send a message to council member Lawana Mayfield.

Mayfield has drawn harsh criticism for some of the messages she has been sharing on social media. Community members are still upset about a tweet Mayfield posted in March.

Mayfield, a Democrat who represents west Charlotte, posted on Twitter saying: "Being Black in America under #45 has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms."

The message was made in reference to the deadly shooting of Stephon Clark by two police officers from the Sacramento Police Department.

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The tweet struck a nerve within Charlotte's law enforcement community. Anne Steppe, the wife of a CMPD sergeant, wanted to make Mayfield aware of the community's feelings.

"My husband is not a terrorist. Our spouses of these fine people sitting here are not terrorists," said Steppe during her speech Wednesday night.

She referenced the other wives in the crowd. Many of them wore t-shirts inscribed with the phrase: "My husband is not a terrorist. My husband is my hero."

"We will not turn a blind eye either when members of our city council speak out so egregiously against officers that risk their lives to protect and serve those that live and work in the Queen City," said Steppe from the podium.

Her speech only lasted the three minute maximum that is allowed during the public comment portion of the council meetings.

Steppe used every minute to defend local officers and condemn Mayfield's tweets. As Steppe spoke, Mayfield sat emotionless at the dais.

"In another tweet you say racism is real and you Ms. Mayfield are as guilty as anyone because you clearly don't like the color blue," said Steppe.

She urged Mayfield to help improve relations between the police and the public rather than "adding fuel to an already raging fire".

Mayfield did not respond to Steppe's speech, and appeared to leave the meeting chambers before the meeting was over and reporters could ask her for comment Wednesday night.

In the past, Mayfield has defended her views concerning police violence in America.

After being called into question for the aforementioned tweet likening officers to terrorists, Mayfield took to Twitter, again, in her own defense posting the definition of a terrorist and blaming the media for a "false narrative."

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