DA’s office does not dismiss possible investigation of June 2 protest incident

Community leaders calling for more accountability

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - While both the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation have both cleared CMPD’s use tactics the night of June 2, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office did not explicitly rule out a possible investigation.

In an email sent to WBTV, a spokesperson for the office simply said, “The office does not have any comment at this time.”

Community leaders have called for increased transparency after CMPD released footage of a protest incident June 2nd in which officers tear-gassed protesters on two sides of the street, leaving some protesters felt as if they were trapped.

Audio captured from one of the officer’s body-worn cameras shows it was part of a plan.

“Wave goodbye, they’re about to get gassed,” A CMPD sergeant said.

There was only one police officer who faced discipline after the June 2 protest.

“We’re going to push their ass straight up 4th. As soon as we get them on 4th we got a bottleneck now,” the sergeant said.

The sergeant who made these comments, who CMPD has not named, was handed a two-week suspension and a two-year ban from promotions.

But another video suggests that other officers might also have been in on the plan.

“We’ve got both sides of 4th on College. If they continue up College, we can still do what you had in mind,” another officer can be heard saying over radio communications.

“I don’t think he made the decision in fact when you listen to the video he says there’s one platoon in pace here and one platoon in place there he got caught for talking on an open mic,” SAFE Coalition NC’s Robert Dawkins said.

Dawkins said he still expects more transparency from CMPD and an opportunity to ask more questions.

“Now they definitely need to be answering and again it goes back to a pattern of practice that we’re only going to be held accountable and barely held accountable for what you find,” Dawkins said.

CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings only answered questions from reporters before the video was released but promised he would be available to speaker afterward too.

A CMPD spokesperson told WBTV that they were working on Jennings availability but he simply hasn’t been available since the video was released.

The only people who have been able to ask him questions about the video after they saw it were city council members and that was during a closed session meeting.

The question now is whether anyone else is looking into the incident. The State Bureau of Investigations wrapped up their review months ago and CMPD said their investigation is over.

When WBTV reached out to the District Attorney Spencer Merriweather’s Office a spokesperson wrote: “The office does not have any comment at this time.”

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