Charlotte council starts tackling violence, policing at same time

Charlotte council starts tackling violence, policing at same time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte is currently outpacing the number of homicides in 2019 and is on track for another record year of violence.

In the middle of this, Charlotte City Council is discussing new strategies to not only curb violence but change policing.

On Monday, council members discussed new community methods to intervene before and after violent situations.

City Manager Marcus Jones said the city was ready to launch two new initiatives as part of a series of work to address violence in “Corridors of Opportunity.”

City Manager Marcus Jones introduced two new community policies to intervene both before and after violent situations.
City Manager Marcus Jones introduced two new community policies to intervene both before and after violent situations. (Source: WBTV)

But Councilman Malcolm Graham questioned what police were doing in violent areas right now. Graham brought out more than seven pages of calls for service at the address on Beatties Ford Road where Terreon Geter was shot and killed.

“So when does it become a public nuisance?” Graham asked.

City Attorney Patrick Baker said it was possible for an abatement process but that was usually long and drawn out. He said they would initially start with contacting the property owner.

After the discussion on, “Corridors of Opportunity” council started to discuss the work of the Safe Communities Committee and a plan to review policing policies and protocols.

Councilmember Braxton Winston said he worries that there are too much discussion and not enough action and a lack of focus.

The distinction between the work to curb violence and change policing was laid bear during an exchange between Winston and council member Larken Egleston.

“There’s an urgency here because we have a violent crime issue in this city,” Egleston said.

“No, a policing problem,” Winston said.

“And we will work on them both on parallel tracks but the fact that we have young people in this community that is dying weekly if we don’t address that first, we’re missing the mark,” Egleston said.

Council won’t vote on actual changes in policing until September according to a timeline presented by the city manager and while some councilmembers advocated for simple solutions Mayor Vi Lyles called for a thought-out approach.

“We need to do the work in the right way, using the right amount of time and a framework that works but it is going to be harder, and it is going to be more examined, and It is going to be more sustainable for us in the long run,” Lyles said.

Before changes to police procedures council will also review CMPD transparency, community engagement and youth programs. All of which will be brought before council during council meetings.

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