CHARLOTTE – The Queen City is doing it’s best to keep up with the Wokeness of other major liberal cities across the nation by launching initiatives to ‘reimagine’ the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and exploring alternate ‘community violence interrupters’ as a method to lower violent crime in a 2 square mile area of the city that is responsible for an inordinate amount of violent crime.
They suggestions are to remove police funding and redirect it into social programs. Council members think such woke policies can prevent the senseless murders happening too often in their city, while avoiding the scourge of law enforcement officers.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“[…] City leaders are embarking on an ambitious 90-day plan to reimagine the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, capping off more than a month of community outrage after officers used chemical agents against peaceful protesters in uptown.
By August, a City Council committee intends to review the role of police officers, incorporating perspectives from a wide swath of local activists, law enforcement experts and Charlotte residents. That includes scrutinizing how CMPD’s directives — including duty-to-intervene, de-escalation and chokehold policies — align with the national “8 Can’t Wait” initiative aimed at ending police violence.
”There will be potential policy changes and budget adjustments,” City Manager Marcus Jones told City Council members during their virtual strategy session Monday. “I know the Council wants action.” […]”
Notice how quickly tear gas and pepper spray have become “chemical agents.” It is quite obvious why the more exotic and threatening term is used, but it’s more interesting why Charlotte activists want to ban their use. A group of woke warriors were subjected to these ‘chemical agents,’ paint balls, and other non-lethal dispersal tools after they refused and resisted orders. The social justice crowd cried loudly about police attacking peaceful protesters, but a review found that the CMPD team followed protocol and the protesters simply got what they were asking for.
“[…] Peaceful marchers on 4th Street — demanding justice following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — were boxed in and targeted with tear gas, stun grenades and pepper balls by riot-control police officers. A State Bureau of Investigation review found CMPD followed its policies on June 2 and said protesters had two escape routes, though they were filled with smoke.
“There were some other issues surrounding that night, so that’s what I’m still waiting to understand,” Graham said. “If no policies were violated, what happened?” […]”
Perhaps the ‘Peaceful marchers’ were not so uniformly peaceful? Maybe their actions, like we’ve witnessed time and again, were actually provoking totally justifiable reactions from law enforcement?
But the council ‘wants action’ so they can go back to their district and say they’ve done the brave thing of shrinking budgets for policing and increasing reliance on social workers to prevent and respond to violent crimes.
“[City Council Member Braxton] Winston said elected officials don’t need to see more studies conducted on violent crime or presentations on policing tactics, like those discussed Monday. He instead pressed Jones for clearer guidance on rerouting CMPD’s budget to more “appropriate places,” such as social services. […]
Mayor Vi Lyles said the city council faces greater scrutiny than it did following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016. Now, Lyles said, Charlotte’s response to police reform will be measured against other major cities across the country. […]
In a separate discussion Monday that framed violence as a public health crisis, Jones announced Charlotte would launch several community-based pilot programs this fall. The programs are referred to as “violence interrupters.”
A street outreach program, slated to start in neighborhoods surrounding Beatties Ford Road and Interstate 85/Sugar Creek, would focus on the diverse needs of residents there, Jones said. Outreach workers would help at-risk individuals connect with social services and mentors, among other resources. […]”
So, Charlotte must work to defund police, and fund social programs instead, so they can ‘keep up with the Woke Joneses’ like Minneapolis, Seattle, and New York City. “Violence interrupters” instead of police.
These aren’t some fringe activists yelling on the sidewalk; these are city council members now. The radical Left has now infiltrated so many official positions that such painfully woke proposals are made from within City Hall, instead of coming from an unhinged picket line across the street.
It’s a sign of the times and North Carolina is definitely not immune. If the approach to the most dangerous, violent, crime ridden neighborhoods in the Queen City is to have less police and more social worker ‘violence interrupters,’ one can predict the council’s future disappointment when the violence inexplicably worsens as law enforcement is abandoned.
But at least the city leaders will feel woke. Read more about their plans for progressive policing here.