Criminal Justice in Charlotte... have you experienced "the system" directly?
Behind a badge? Behind the bench? Behind bars?
Many in Charlotte are not paying attention to crime until it becomes necessary in their lives, often with tragic consequences of different degree. Too often, network news coverage focuses on sensationally tragic stories with morbid glee unil there is nothing left to talk about, while they ignore the root causes of the problems in our community.
Where were the questions for Mayor Foxx at the end of May following the Memorial Day gang-related riots and murder on our streets when he stood up and stated that there was no fighting here? Where were the questions for Police Chief Rodney Monroe--or his boss, City Manager Curt Walton--when Monroe stated that "at no time, at NO time, did we ever lost control" after he said they had undertaken careful strategic planning and had adequate staffing levels? He also made a presentation to all of City Council claiming there had not been a riot, presenting in writing a definition of riot that did not match CMPD's definition, not to mention common sense. Monroe had told press that Charlotte's gangs are not bad--our gangs get along well with each other (GOOD NEWS!).
The truth is that a man was murdered.
There was gunfire on our streets downtown.
Downtown should not be the only area of concern, even if it will be the site of DNC2012.
On the Fourth of July, how much extra money was spent to flood the streets with police officers trying to ensure the real state of affairs in Charlotte and Rodney Monroe's Police Department was not exposed? Politicians and Public Affairs personnel claimed victory with the assistance of community volunteers. While the volunteers' efforts were certainly positive and commendable, any honest assessment would assign victory to Nature and Numbers: the largely peaceful July 4th was mostly due to wild lightning storms just before festivities were scheduled to begin, combined with a huge additional police presence and the relatively minute number of people ambling down the sidewalks.
Attendence was radically down. What was the Police OT budget for that night? How many businesses lost money because they had to close for the night? And how much did all the specialized police equipment cost? What about peace of mind?
The PR machine is tearing this town apart instead of addressing the problems. What do you think? What do you know?