Charlotte city councilman speaks about protests at virtual town hall Tuesday

Councilman hosts virtual town hall after protests

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham, who represents District 2, hosted a virtual town hall meeting for his constituents Tuesday.

During the virtual meeting, Graham addressed the protest that happened in his district last week. Dozens of people flocked to Beatties Ford Road in west Charlotte last Friday. The large group gathered outside of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Metro Division station and spoke out against racial injustice and police brutality. The gathering turned violent when some protesters started throwing objects at police officers.

Graham opened his meeting Tuesday with remarks about the protest.

“We’ll pray for our nation. We’ll pray for our community. We’ll pray for our citizens and we’ll work through our troubles and talk about what’s in the best interest of our community and what’s happening here in District 2,” said Graham in his opening remarks.

The councilman then introduced two representatives from the CMPD to speak about the protest.

CMPD Captain Lucas Veith spoke about the tension that led to Last Friday’s protest turning violent.

“Frustrations are evident. Some of it’s slow-boiling. Some of it’s recent. Some of it’s part of the circumstances that we face with the pandemic,” said Veith.

During last Friday’s protests, officers were injured, at least one business was looted, and multiple people were arrested. Still, Veith said the situation could’ve been worse. He said the community deserves credit for preventing the demonstration from getting even worse.

“I think the community and the city of Charlotte and all of the good people that are here made Friday night less wore, less dangerous, less horrifying than what we’ve seen through the rest of the country,” said Veith.

While last Friday was a bad day for the Beatties Ford Road corridor, Graham said he plans on focusing on the good developments that are happening in in the community. During Tuesday’s town hall, he spoke about the redevelopment of the historic Excelsior Club and the upgrades coming to Beatties Ford Road.

Graham spoke to WBTV’s Jamie Boll in an interview Tuesday, noting that he won’t be deterred by what happened last Friday.

“We’re gonna continue to move forward and talk about things that we can change. We’re making positive change in our community. It is really, really hard work. We’ll continue to keep the faith, but do the work,” said Graham.

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