In face of wave of violence, Charlotte council discusses possible solutions

Updated: Jul. 14, 2020 at 12:04 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Combating the unprecedented and tragic violence happening in the city of Charlotte was the most talked about topic on city council’s agenda Monday night.

Council members discussed different solutions and models they’d like to try to put in place to curb the violence sooner rather than later.

CMPD started with an update on the June 21 shooting on Beatties Ford Road that left four people dead. So far no arrests have been made.

“What we need is cooperation,” CMPD Major Dave Robinson said. “And all of the crime stoppers tips in the world don’t help us if it’s hearsay, they don’t help us if it’s something to the extent ‘so and so said so and so and might know something’ because even though we run that down none of that has borne fruit.”

While some council members pointed out that there’s not much CMPD can do if witnesses don’t come forward Councilman Malcolm Graham noted that there is fear in some communities about more violence if there’s cooperation with police.

Graham recently met with other city officials and community leaders and presented a list of actions they want to see on Beatties Ford Road including strong Code Enforcement to clean up properties, workforce development, fair and balanced policing and abatement of nuisance properties.

“We know where the hot spots are on the corridor we know where the drugs are being sold and neighbors are just asking for fair and balanced law enforcement,” Graham said.

City Manager Marcus Jones also added the city is moving forward with a violence interruption model called Cure Violence to engage community members in helping reach people where the violence is happening.

Councilman Braxton Winston also advocated for more deployment of crisis trained officers and teams as Major Robinson agreed that more of those forces would help reduce the number of deaths in the corridor.

Councilman Tariq Bokhari requested that more money be put into Crime Stoppers tips as the maximum pay out right now is just $5,000.

Jones discouraged taking action on those items immediately noting budget constraints and said they would likely be addressed during the Safe Communities Committee which has a virtual meeting at 11 am on July 21.

That night on Beatties Ford Road before the violence, cars were also doing donuts and other illegal behavior. When asked if CMPD could have done more to intervene, Major Robinson said the shooting was tough to predict.

“There’s nothing that we could have done to know that gun shots particularly to the degree that happened and the carnage that was left would have been part of that equation,” Major Robinson said.

Robinson also revealed that 14 year old Terreon Geter, who was shot and killed on June 30, had a handgun on him when he was killed and was involved in a violent incident with another person before the shooting happened.

Robinson mentioned another situation in which an officer was able to confiscate a sawed off shotgun from a 14-year-old boy who was carrying the weapon in his backpack.

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