City leaders delayed declaring emergency over concerns of how it'd look

Published: Sep. 22, 2016 at 8:57 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2016 at 9:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Top leaders in the city of Charlotte delayed accepting additional safety resources prior to Wednesday night's violent riot in Uptown, multiple sources tell On Your Side Investigates.

We first asked about the delay at a press conference with Mayor Jennifer Roberts and other city leaders Thursday morning.

Specifically, we wanted to know why Roberts didn't accept state resources when they were offered Wednesday morning.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory said his office began offering resources as early as Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m.

Roberts, in response to a question from On Your Side Investigates, said the city was only prepared for peaceful protests Wednesday night.

"I was in conversation with the governor early in the morning," Roberts said. "During the day, the central city, the center city was peaceful and during the day we had indication of peaceful protest; we saw some peaceful protest."

She said she relied on the advice of first responders in deciding whether to declare a state of emergency.

"We are a team here in Charlotte. We are a team. I rely on my experts to give me appropriate advice at the appropriate time for the appropriate resources that will be needed," she said.

But a source with knowledge of the internal deliberations behind accepting state assistance tells On Your Side Investigates that Roberts held off on declaring a state of emergency over concerns of how it would look.

A spokesman for Roberts promised to provide On Your Side Investigates a comment by a 5:00 p.m. deadline Thursday but failed to do so.

Ultimately, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney requested state resources around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday night.

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