Crime Stoppers: CMPD homicide clearance rate higher than national and state clearance rates, some families still await justice

A 23-year-old was killed outside of his car in 2020, but nobody has been charged in the case.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has a higher clearance rate for homicides than the national and statewide rates, according to data obtained from the FBI and CMPD.

The CBS News Investigative Unit and CBS Innovation Lab recently collaborated on a project that explored the declining rate of homicide arrests in America. The project is called Crime Without Punishment. According to CBS News, FBI data shows that the homicide clearance rate across the nation hit a low point in 2020. The clearance rate was just over 50% in 2020.

The clearance rate is calculated by dividing the number of homicide cases that were solved each year by the number of murders that occurred in that same year. According to CBS News, clearance rate data was not obtained for some law enforcement agencies and some agencies measure clearance rate differently.

According to the FBI data, the statewide clearance rate for North Carolina was 64% in 2019 and 58% in 2020.

Data obtained from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department shows that the agency had a 83% homicide clearance rate in 2019 , a 74% clearance rate in 2020 and 77% clearance rate in 2021.

Detective Rick Smith, the CMPD’s Crime Stoppers coordinator, spoke to WBTV about why the department’s clearance rates are higher than the national and state clearance rates.

“First and foremost it’s the community, their willingness to step forward and provide us information to help us solve those crimes and we ask that they continue to support us,” explained Smith.

Smith said he also credits the department’s clearance rates to the hard work of police investigators and the partnerships the agency has with local media outlets.

The detective also spoke about the challenges that some investigators may encounter when trying to crack a case.

“If we don’t have any cooperation from the community, and we have little information to go on, that makes it kind of difficult to solve a crime,” said Smith.

While the homicide clearance rate in Charlotte is higher than the national rate, Smith would like for the city’s number of homicides to be lower. Police have investigated more than 95 homicides each of the last three years. The detective said he wants community members to continue to help police make arrests.

“I’m asking the community to make the same phone call that you would want someone to make if you or one of your loved ones is the victim of a crime,” said Smith.

While CMPD detectives have solved the majority of homicides from 2019, 2020, and 2021, some families are still holding out hope that an arrest will still be made in their loved one’s case.

Li Y was shot and killed April 23, 2020. The deadly incident happened right near the entrance to the Magnolia Terrace Apartments off E. W.T. Harris Blvd. in Charlotte. No one has been charged for the killing. Police have previously said they were looking into the possibility that Y was the victim of a carjacking.

Y’s brother spoke to WBTV in an interview Tuesday. For safety reasons, he asked that his name be kept private.

“It became a disaster for all of us and the family and we just want people out there to help us and find who did it,” said Y’s brother.

The young man said that he and his family members are still holding out hope that an arrest will be made in Y’s case.

“We’re never gonna give up hope until we get justice for him,” he said.

Anyone with information about an unsolved homicide in Charlotte is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest. Community members can also submit tips about crimes through the P3 Tips app.

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