CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Even though an officer’s words got him suspended, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings says that a sergeant’s comments caught on body-worn camera show that there was never a plan to trap protesters during a demonstration on June 2.
In a one-on-one interview with WBTV, Jennings said that it never intentional that officers deployed tear gas on two sides of protesters in Uptown.
“Did any supervising officer give a specific order to deploy these munitions on both sides of the street of the protesters,” a WBTV reporter asked Jennings.
“The officers that were there were given the authority to deploy munitions. However, like we’ve said from the beginning, that the tactic was not to use the munitions to box them in,” Jennings said.
CMPD suspended one sergeant for two weeks for words he was caught saying on his body-worn camera.
“We’re going to push their a** straight up 4th as soon as they get up on 4th , we;ve got a bottleneck now, Rory’s squad is going to step out and hammer their a**. When they start running down Dan’s squad is going to step up and hammer their a**.”
“The officer who was caught on-camera clearly made it sound like the plan was to put them on both those sides of tear gas. So what was lost in translation?” a WBTV reporter asked Jennings.
“If you listen to the audio of that very carefully the wording was, although it was outside of what we would expect a supervisor to say, the wording of that was when they ’run back down’ and that’s really what we’ve said all along that when we run back down and get to the intersection of 4th on College was supposed to be the second round of riot control,” Jennings said.
WBTV has requested additional radio communications leading up to that incident on June 2nd to try and find out where the order came from and what specifically was said. So far those records have not been provided by CMPD.
Jenning says he believes CMPD has been transparent throughout the process.
“All the video’s been released. That’s over 100 hours of video, over 50 different videos so all of that’s been released and we haven’t redacted anything. So we’ve been as transparent as we could be,” Jennings said.