Reagan Drive still considered an hotbed of crime after city’s 97th homicide

Group works to reduce crime along road

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte’s homicide count now climbing to 97 this year. The latest claimed the life of a woman in North Charlotte.

CMPD says a party was going on at a business park at the time of the shooting. Police have not revealed why the woman was murdered.

If Reagan Drive sounds familiar that’s because there’s been a few other crimes along the road within the past year.

In February, police say a 15-year-old was shot near the Royal Inn along the road. Officers later arrested and charged three people, including a 14-year-old boy.

In April, police charged a man with intentionally setting a fire at the Hunters Pointe Apartments. The complex is one-tenth of a mile from Reagan Drive.

Police say the same complex is the site of a separate arson case that happened in March.

No one has been arrested in connection to that incident.

There are people, besides police officers and city leaders, who are trying to cut down on the recent crime along the road.

Reagan Drive is in the North Tryon area. It’s one major spot in the city, that’s been marked as a concern by some people who live there.

“It’s a nucleus for criminal behavior,” said Greg Jackson of Heal Charlotte.

Since the beginning of the year, Jackson believed Reagan Road was a direct pathway to the crime he so desperately wants to get rid of. So he’d been working on a plan to shut the road down for good. In an interview with WBTV several months ago, Jackson said “It’s just full of prostitution, human trafficking – labor trafficking or sex trafficking, drugs,” said Jackson.

Now that a homicide is being added to that list, Jackson is having to face the fact that his worst prediction has come true.

“It hurts to know that you know what’s going to happen that it’s hard to get people’s attention,” he said.

Even though it was his proposal for the road that ended up being shot down, his work to turn the area around never stopped. He says his organization called Heal Charlotte has been the force behind programs and services to revitalize communities.

Jackson said, “Business etiquette classes, adult workshops, providing extra resources for people that are just marginalized and don’t really have the opportunity and career development.”

A re-brand through a hands-on approach.

“Make it a vibrant neighborhood for everybody involved, then we’ll see a change.” said Jackson.

It’s obvious that there’s still more work to be done, but as Jackson admits, his group needs help to reach more people. He wants people to recognize his intentions because this is something that’s not just limited to Reagan Drive. The push to stop the killings and other violent crimes are for every inch of the city that’s seeing more of it.

“I know what Charlotte could be and I know what Charlotte has turned into. So, I’m very optimistic that there’s enough people here, enough non-profits here, enough philanthropic individuals here that we can make a turnaround, ” he continued.

Jackson also says he has plans to meet with CMPD officers soon to see what other collaborations can happen between social activists like himself and officers or a safer tomorrow.

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