Charlotte councilman screens new police documentary before budget vote

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Charlotte City Council will be voting on a proposed budget plan Monday that would increase pay for police officers.

That was one of the reasons why councilman Tariq Bokhari wanted to screen his new police documentary Sunday afternoon.

WBTV was able to get a first look at the film.

In front of a packed room, Bokhari screened his new film "Ten Eighteen: Officers Need Assistance".

Just weeks earlier, Bokhari went on a ride-a-long with CMPD Officer John Koukopoulos. It was a ride he'll never forget.

"You know, you don't know what to expect so I was kind of feeling the night out, Bokhari said. "It was about midway through the night when I kind of took a breath, but I was like you know I'm in this now, I've been doing it."

Bokhari wanted to give the public a firsthand look at what officers have to go through day in and day out as he wore a camera to film what happened throughout the evening. He compiled the footage into a 30 minute documentary.

"I thought it was done very well and I hope somebody gets something out of it," Koukopoulos said in an interview with WBTV.

Bokhari says he rushed to get this documentary done for a reason.

Monday night, city council members will vote on a new budget as officers have been campaigning for better pay. Bokhari wanted the public to see his film before the budget vote.

"Now the community can see it and hopefully that perspective can make them pay attention to how we vote tomorrow," Bokhari said.

"We work for the city, we work for the community and we hope that the community can reflect their appreciation of us and help us kind of draw back on par nationally with the kind of budget that we need," Koukopoulos said.

While Bokhari  definitely supports the officers protecting the Queen City, he would also like to see the community continue to keep tabs on officers.

"Do everything you can to support the police, do everything you can to hold them accountable and have the conversations needed to take care of when people abuse their power," Bokhari said.

Under the newest budget plan, recruits and officers in the first few years of their career would get up to a 12 percent raise. Mid-range officers would get a 7 to 9 percent raise and top officers will get a 4.5 percent raise.

The city council meets at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Monday night to vote on whether to adopt the budget.

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