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Saturday, September 24, 2016

VIDEO: Police footage of Keith Lamont Scott's shooting released

Posted By on Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 7:26 PM

Still from the body cam footage of a uniformed officer on the scene when Keith Lamont Scott was shot
  • Still from the body cam footage of a uniformed officer on the scene when Keith Lamont Scott was shot

CMPD this afternoon released footage from a body camera and a dashboard camera that caught parts of an incident on Tuesday that ended with a police officer shooting and killing Keith Lamont Scott. 

While the body camera footage, from a uniformed officer who showed up on the scene after the confrontation began, doesn't show much beyond him trying to break Scott's window and then coming around the vehicle to find Scott lying on the ground, the same officer's dash cam footage shows Scott being shot after exiting his car and backing towards the police cruiser. The sound is also off on the body camera footage until about the 21-second mark. 

A still from the dash cam footage just before Keith Lamont Scott was shot.
  • A still from the dash cam footage just before Keith Lamont Scott was shot.

Along with the footage, CMPD released a detailed statement telling their version of events that transpired on Tuesday afternoon, when officers waiting in The Village at College Downs to carry out a warrant on someone other than Scott confronted him and officer Brentley Vinson shot him. 

According to CMPD's statement, two plain-clothes officers were sitting in a car waiting to serve the warrant when Scott pulled up beside them in his white SUV. They allegedly saw Scott rolling a blunt — marijuana wrapped in cigar paper — but were not concerned with confronting him until they allegedly saw him hold a gun up. 

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The officers then moved away from the scene to put on marked vests that identified them as police before confronting Scott, who they say refused their verbal commands to exit the vehicle. At this time, the uniformed officer arrived and came around the back of the vehicle and began hitting the window. It was then that Scott exited the vehicle with a gun, police say, and backed away from his vehicle. 

According to the statement, Vinson "perceived Mr. Scott's actions and movements as an imminent physical threat to himself and other officers," and opened fire, hitting Scott four times. In the video, Scott does not appear to pose a threat in a way that involves pointing a gun or anything of that manner. No gun can clearly be seen in the video. 

Police also released photos of the gun they say Scott was holding (left), an ankle holster than can be seen on his ankle in the footage and the blunt they say he was rolling. 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

NBC News releases footage of Keith Lamont Scott's shooting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 1:53 PM


A video released by NBC News this afternoon reportedly filmed by Keith Lamont Scott's wife shows the moments leading up to and following Scott's shooting at the hands of CMPD officers. The video is rolling at the moment Scott is shot, but does not capture the shooting on screen. 


The video is sure to raise more questions than it answers, as no gun can clearly be seen at any point in the video. Scott's wife, Reykia Scott, does warn police near the beginning of the video that Keith does not have a weapon and that he just took his medicine for a traumatic brain injury, referring to a bicycle wreck Scott suffered a year ago that left him disabled. 

Reykia repeats "he better live" — an expression that had already been used widely on social media as a hashtag just minutes after the video's release — to officers as he lies on the ground of Lexington Circle, where he was waiting for his son to return home from school. 

The shooting sparked protests in Charlotte throughout the last three days that ended in damaged property and a man shot dead in Uptown on Wednesday night. We will update this story with the thoughts of local leaders as it develops. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Chief Putney and Mayor Roberts speak on last night's protests, today's preparations

Posted By on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 3:07 PM


Mayor Jennifer Roberts and CMPD Chief Kerr Putney held another press conference this morning following a night of peaceful protests that ended in violence and destruction of property in Uptown.

Following that press conference, leaders with the North Carolina and Charlotte NAACP and other area clergy members held a press conference emphasizing the fact that a large majority of protesters on site last night were peaceful, calling on media to speak with those on the ground who have been organizing locally for years [which CL has done and plans to continue to do today].

At this press conference, leaders such as NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber stressed the diversity among peaceful protesters who now work with the Black Lives Matter movement and other similar organizations as a sign that the crisis, and the movement to fight against it, is growing.

While we were not able to transcribe that conference as we did the press conference quoted below, it can be watched in its entirety here.

At the Government Center, Putney and Roberts answered questions from reporters regarding the body camera footage of Keith Scott’s shooting, which sparked protests over the last two nights; a lack of preparation for last night’s protests; and whether law enforcement is ready for what could happen tonight following the declaration of a state of emergency late last night, which has brought troops from the National Guard and State Highway Patrol into the city.

Mayor Roberts addresses national and local media this morning at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Mayor Roberts addresses national and local media this morning at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

The following are direct quotes from the press conference:

On the shooting of a protester in front of the Omni Hotel, reports of which as an act f violence between two protesters have been disputed by eyewitnesses, who believe an officer fired on the victim

Kerr Putney: At about 8:30 [p.m.] we had officers who responded to N. College Street and E. Trade Street for an assault with a deadly weapon call. One person was located with an apparent gunshot wound and he was located there in the Omni Hotel. Right now, that shooting victim is in critical condition. Due to concerns around security, the victim was evacuated by our Bearcat; our SWAT armored personnel carrier. We couldn’t get Medic in at the time because of the size of the crowd. The victim was then transferred to Medic and was transported to CMC Main as I said with life-threatening injuries.

At that point, because of the size of the crowd, we deployed gas and that would have been at about 8:43 p.m. The reason I say I’m not defending a position is, the shooting that took place, there’s a lot of information about who did that shooting. We’re reviewing video and we’re assessing our people who were there as well because an allegation was made that one of our officers might have been involved. As I said before guys ,we’re here to seek the truth so we’re investigating that to find the truth, the absolute truth, as best the evidence can show us.

On plans and strategy in the city today and tonight

Putney: We have a full complement of our civil emergency unit (CEU) ready to continue working to prevent violent crime, assaultive behavior and property crime as well. We have our officers assigned to foot patrol, bike patrol, the Enduro, dirtbikes, as well as patrolling in our mobile CEU vans. You will see a heavy uniformed presence, obviously. Our aviation unit will continue to be our eyes on the sky and give us an aerial view that we couldn’t have otherwise. We continue to use our real-time crime center to give us a technological advantage with roughly 1,000 cameras that help protect our cities.

As I said before, the National Guard and SHP will help us with infrastructure. They’ll help provide protection for our buildings so that we can avoid further damage. This allows us and my CMPD resources to focus on the people who are committing crimes; who are damaging property and assaulting our people. Despite this great commitment by state and local resources, we still need to lean on our greatest partners, our strongest asset, and that is our community. We ask that you continue to let us know when you see things that are happening that are inappropriate and when you see crimes occur. We appreciate that people are posting things that they see. Because I can tell you, we use those opportunities to fully investigate all crimes and all allegations relative to what goes on in a chaotic scene.

On why a state of emergency wasn’t called earlier in the day, so as to have more resources available

Jennifer Roberts: We were in conversation. I was in conversation with the governor early in the morning. During the day, the center city was peaceful. During the day, we had indication of peaceful protests. We saw some peaceful protests. We are a team here in Charlotte. I rely on my experts to give me the appropriate advice at the time for the appropriate resources that will be needed. I was in constant contact with the chief — chief of police, the fire chief, Medic, all the folks who are first responders. We were in constant contact. We made the decision collaboratively when those resources were needed at the appropriate time.

On when or if the city plans to release the body cam footage of Keith Scott’s shooting

Putney: When are we going to release it? Ultimately, our practice has been not to release, but to allow for the party who feels they’ve been mistreated in any way to see that. A request has come our way to do just that and we’re going to honor that request. But there are other things that are going on too about — just to be quite frank with you — whether there’s going to be an outside investigation. At that point, it would halt what we’re doing moving forward as far as releasing anything. Right now what we’re going to do is honor the request that has been made with the family, because it’s still in my purview to do so, but beyond that it’ll be much more collaborative.

There’s a difference between disclosure — allowing someone to see it, and that would be the party that feels they’ve been aggrieved — and released would be to the masses and that’s what I’m not going to do.

What I can tell you that I saw and I was very clear when I talked about this before, is the video does not give me absolute definitive visual evidence that would confirm that a person is pointing the gun. I did not see that in the videos that I reviewed. What I can tell you though is that when taken in the totality of all the other evidence, it supports what we’ve heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the circumstances that happened that led to the death of Mr. Scott.
Slideshow
Protests in Uptown (9/21/16)
Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16) Protests in Uptown (9/21/16)

Protests in Uptown (9/21/16)

A collection of photos of last night's protests in Uptown from CL contributor Zach NeSmith

By Zach NeSmith

Click to View 25 slides


On whether the CMPD would release it if they felt it would quell the potential for violence

Putney: I can tell you this, as I said yesterday, there’s your truth, my truth and the truth. Some people have already made up their mind what happened. We’ve given multiple facts and there will be an update later this afternoon about more additional information we’re getting. But that still doesn’t change the mindset and the perspective of some who want to break the law and tear down our city. So if there is compelling info that I think helps, we’ll show it, but again I’m going to be very intentional about protecting the integrity of the investigation, and in so doing, I’m not going to release the video.

We release it when we believe it is a compelling reason, but I’m not going to jeopardize the investigation. Right now, even though we’re investigating we probably won’t be long-term because a request has also been made that an objective party, the SBI (State Bureau of Investigations), move forward with the investigation. So we’re not going to release anything that would be on somebody else to release.

On how Putney can square his calls for transparency with his refusal to release the footage

Putney: I never said full transparency. I said transparency and transparency is in the eye of the beholder. I can tell you the party right now who really is my priority in honoring that request is the people who really are the victims of the shooting. So what I’m going to do is honor that request and I’ll tell you, if you think I say we should display a victim’s worst day for public consumption, that is not the transparency I’m speaking of.

On the potential for a curfew in the city

Putney: This designation allows for that. I don’t intend to use it unless it becomes an issue and we need to clear the streets sooner. It depends on what we encounter. I can’t tell you a definitive time. It’s going to depend on what we see and use that to better manage and allow for public safety.

Reporter: Why not just say everyone has to be off the streets at 8 p.m.?

Putney: We’ve done that in the past to when we saw the need. Right now we don’t see the need to shut the city down at a specific hour.

Reporter: After two nights of violence?

Putney: Yes ma’am, my answer doesn’t change. We don’t see a need to definitively shut the city down at a specific hour because we can’t anticipate. What we do know is we have the resources now to protect infrastructure and to be a lot more proactive in arresting people who commit criminal acts.

On what’s being done to prevent any more violence or destruction of property

Roberts: The resources that will be deployed [Note: Putney had stated at an earlier times that “several hundred more people” would be on the ground protecting infrastructure], the change in strategy and the continued collaboration with the community that we are determined. The safety of our citizens is our highest priority. We can look at experience, we can’t predict what will happen. There are many conversations going on in our community and again I applaud our community leaders. There are many efforts to reach out to the folks who are angry to get them to stand down. Even today while we’re speaking, I know of meetings that are ongoing right now where great leaders who have the trust and faith of their congregations and their communities and neighborhoods are having tough conversations and saying violence is not the answer.

Every situation is volatile and we will do as much as we can to ensure that safety. We cant guarantee not knowing what instance will happen, what groups will be gathered, but we have every confidence that we are going to put the resources in place that are required and needed And it is my sincere hope, I reach out to the comm. I ask for continued convo, all those leaders who have reached out to me personally, you are amazing in the message that you are carrying about nonviolence and I have faith that we will continue to progress.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Press conferences held in response to last night's unrest

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Residents begin to gather at the scene of Keith Scott's shooting. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Residents begin to gather at the scene of Keith Scott's shooting.

Charlotte officials and community leaders held two separate press conferences this morning in response to the unrest that followed the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a police officer in northeast Charlotte yesterday afternoon.

The incident has underscored a growing distrust between members of the community and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, as statements from the department have been either disputed or ignored by those who are calling for justice for Scott.

Residents argue with officers blocking off the crime scene early on Tuesday night. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Residents argue with officers blocking off the crime scene early on Tuesday night.
As CMPD Chief Kerr Putney has spent the morning reiterating the department’s original claim that Scott was holding a gun when he was shot, Scott’s neighbors — some of whom say they witnessed the shooting — continue to dispute those claims, stating that he was holding a book and not a gun.

Some of these witnesses have even claimed that the department lied about who shot Scott. The department has said that the officer in question was named Brentley Vinson. Neighbors who say they witnessed the shooting have said to reporters today that the officer was white, while Vinson is black.

At a press conference at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center this morning, Putney said that no book was found at the scene of the shooting, only a gun near Scott’s body. He said he has watched some of the body camera footage from three officers on the scene with Vinson at the time of the shooting — Vinson was not wearing a camera — but that he “cannot see in totality everything that occurred” during the incident.

At the press conference, Putney said no body camera footage or still picture from the footage can be released by law because it is still a part of the investigation, while Mayor Jennifer Roberts asked that the public “give us time to get the right information.” It’s doubtful that the footage will ever see the light of day, however, as Gov. Pat McCrory passed a law in July regulating the release of such footage.

Putney and Roberts spoke of the chance of more protests tonight, after 16 officers were injured during unrest that took place in the University area overnight. Roberts asked that folks stay calm while Putney ensured those at the government center that his officers would be ready for protests tonight. He also stated that more arrests might be made in connection to last night’s protests, in addition to the one already made, as his officers review video footage of the unrest that blocked off portions of Old Concord Road, Harris Boulevard and I-85.

“Our intent is to bring everyone to justice who violated the law,” he said. Multiple CMPD vehicles were damaged and one tractor trailer was broken into on I-85 while blocked by protesters.

During a press conference held by representatives of True Healing Under God (T.H.U.G.), John Barnett emphasized that it did not matter if Scott was armed during the time of the shooting, but only whether he pointed a gun at police. Putney had stated earlier in his press conference that he was unsure of whether Scott had pointed a gun, but that an armed person's body language and movements can be taken as a threat without that person necessarily pointing the weapon.

Barnett and others at the T.H.U.G. press conference, such as B.J. Murphy, called for an economic boycott by black people in the city of Charlotte, urging them only to spend their money at black-owned businesses.

“Take your money out of Northlake Mall, out of SouthPark Mall, out of EpiCentre,” Murphy said. “If black lives don’t matter then our dollars don’t either.”

At the end of the press conference, Barnett announced plans for a peaceful rally at Marshall Park at 7 p.m. tonight. There are rumors of other rallies and demonstrations throughout the city that have not yet been confirmed, but Creative Loafing will be following up on each of them. Follow on Twitter at @cl_charlotte.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lunch Break: (9/20/16) Virginia man misunderstands right to bear arms

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 12:12 PM


Trafficking has long plagued the Carolinas, but it was a less than conventional form of the crime that caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and resulted in federal charges being filed in Asheville’s U.S. District Court on Monday. The crime? Trafficking bear parts from western North Carolina. According to court documents, Vu Johnny Nguyen of Virginia made multiple trips to western Carolina in 2014, during which he was involved in the illegal black market barter of American black bear body parts and organs. Despite black bears being protected under multiple federal and state laws, reports suggest that there is demand for their parts — like gall bladders and bear claws — for use in traditional Asian medicine. Nguyen pleaded guilty in court Monday. His charges carry a maximum five year prison sentence, in addition to a fine of $250,000. 

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It’s barely been two years since Olde Mecklenburg Brewery relocated to Yancey Road and opened their sprawling 8.5 acre biergarten and brewhouse, but the Charlotte brewery has apparently already outgrown the massive space. According to permits filed with Charlotte City Council, Olde Mecklenburg has plans to further expand the outdoor biergarten to 52,200 square-feet, and add a new 13,400 square-foot building on the back of the property, bordering South Tryon Street. The plans are a work in progress, but the brewery got the green light to move forward when city council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning last night.

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Damien Billy
  • Damien Billy
CMPD announced Monday that a man awaiting trial for felony charges is at large after removing an electronic monitoring device he was ordered to wear as a condition of his bond. Reports indicate that Damien Montrell Billy, 35, was near the 1100 block of E. 36th Street in NoDa prior to removing the monitoring device. Billy faces charges of assault with deadly weapon with the intent to kill, as well as multiple firearm related charges.

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CMPD has released the identities of three suspects who have been arrested and charged in connection to a series of armed car thefts and robberies that occurred earlier this month in Steele Creek. The suspects have been identified as China Montice Blount, 17; Jamaka Culbreath, 17; and Alexis Johnson, 16. According to reports, in the early morning hours of September 15th the suspects stole multiple vehicles at gunpoint. Two of the suspects were arrested and charged on Sunday, and the third suspect was arrested Monday. CMPD reveals that the suspects may face additional charges as the investigation remains open. 


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Friday, September 16, 2016

Lunch Break (9/16/16): Missing girl found safe; homicide in north Charlotte; volunteers to build Hope Haven playground

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 11:29 AM


Detectives with CMPD are investigating a homicide that took place this morning in northeast Charlotte. Officers responded to an assault call on Hubbard Road at 10:22 a.m. and found a man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, according to a release. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. It is believed that the victim and suspect are known to one another, although police have not yet released the name of either. 

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Police announced yesterday that Mollie Bentley, a 16-year-old autistic girl who went missing on Wednesday, has been found safe and reunited with her family. On Wednesday, CMPD sent out an alert asking for assistance in finding Bentley after she left her north Charlotte home following an argument with a family member and couldn't be found. 

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More than 200 volunteers are expected to come together tomorrow to build a playground at Hope Haven, a housing complex for chemically dependent adults and families. The playground's design is based on children's drawings created at a special Hope Haven event in July. The MetLife Foundation is funding the playground. 

"A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active," read a press release announcing the event, which starts tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and lasts until the ribbon-cutting between 2:30-3:00 p.m. "The new playground will bring more than 350 kids in Charlotte one step closer to having the play-filled childhood they deserve. In building this playspace together, we are making it easier for all kids to get balanced and active play and making Charlotte more playable." 

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It's not quite as cool as driving Jon Voight's car, but a piece of Charlotte history has recently gone up for sale in south Charlotte. The first home designed by Harvey Gantt back in 1970, before he served as Charlotte's first African-American mayor or had a museum named after him in Uptown, is now on the market. 

4221 LaBrea Drive
  • 4221 LaBrea Drive

Gantt, who would go on to found Gantt Huberman just a year later, reportedly drew up the house plans for the home at 4221 LaBrea Drive in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood from his kitchen table. Hyde Park was one of the first upper-class neighborhoods established by African-Americans in the country. There will be an open house at the home on Sunday, September 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lunch Break (9/14/16): Vigil planned on 3rd anniversary of Jonathan Ferrell's death; bus window shot out with kids aboard

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 11:50 AM


A vigil is planned this evening on the anniversary of Jonathan Ferrell's shooting death at the hands of then-CMPD officer Randall Kerrick in 2013. Mourners will gather at 7 p.m. at Marshall Park in Uptown Charlotte. 

Ferrell was shot by Kerrick after he wrecked his car in a neighborhood in northeast Charlotte. He went to a neighbor's home for help, but the woman called the police. When officers arrived, Ferrell ran towards Kerrick and was shot 10 times. Ferrell was unarmed and two other officers on the scene never unholstered their weapons. Kerrick was charged with voluntary manslaughter but a judge later declared a mistrial in the case after the jury became deadlocked. 

Below is an invitation to tonight's vigil posted on social media by organizers. 

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A 17-year-old boy was arrested in southeast Charlotte today after shooting at a school bus with a BB gun, shattering a window. Nobody was injured in the incident. According to a CMPD release, there were 47 children on board the bus at the time of the incident. The driver had originally called in a report of being shot at, but an investigation found that it was not a real gun. The suspect was found in a residence about a block from where the incident happened. The bus was on the way to Idlewild Elementary School. 

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CMPD has identified the victim of a homicide on Monday night as 40-year-old Louis Fuqua. Fuqua was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound on Clanton Road on Monday night just before midnight. No arrests have been made in the case and police ask anyone with information to call 704-432-TIPS and ask for the lead detective in the case, Detective Grande. 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lunch Break (9/14/16): March on Poverty passes through Charlotte

Posted By on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 at 11:30 AM

The Love Beyond Walls team during the March Against Poverty.
  • The Love Beyond Walls team during the March Against Poverty.

A man walking 648 miles from Atlanta to Washington D.C. to raise awareness for poverty is passing through Charlotte today. Terence Lester began his walk on August 20, beginning from the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. began his March on Washington.

Terence Lester
  • Terence Lester
Throughout his journey, Lester has been documenting the stories of folks living in poverty in the towns he's passed through, doing so through his organization's Facebook and Instagram pages. He often speaks alone directly into his phone to give his insights into the people he's met on his march and what he's learned.

Lester is walking for Love Beyond Walls, a nonprofit that serves 400 to 500 people people each month through various missions like free laundry rooms, mobile makeovers and food pantries. 

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CMPD is investigating a murder that occurred just before midnight last night on Clanton Road in south Charlotte. Officers responded to an assault call on the 500 block of Clanton Road at 11:44 p.m. and found a male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. The victim's name will be released pending notification of the family, and the investigation into who killed him is still ongoing. 

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The NCAA became the most recent organization to pull its money from North Carolina due to House Bill 2 last night, announcing that it will no longer hold seven championship events planned for the state during the 2016-17 academic school year. 

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” Mark Emmert, NCAA president, said in a statement released by the NCAA Board of Governors. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships."

In a response that proved just how out of touch the NCGOP has become, spokeswoman Kami Mueller fell back on familiar myths pushed by those in support of HB2, claiming that women and children were made safer by the law, while also introducing new leaps in logic to the conversation, drawing lines between the NCAA's decision and rape cases at Baylor University, calling the decision "an assault to female athletes everywhere." 

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Lunch Break (9/9/16): Panthers drop season opener; arrest made in Northlake shooting

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 11:29 AM


The Carolina Panthers dropped their season opener — and the NFL season opener — in a Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos last night. Unlike last year's Super Bowl, the game was close throughout, with the Panthers leading almost the entire game. In the end, a missed field goal from Graham Gano following a great comeback drive from the Panthers put them down for good. 

Many fans, reporters and even teammates believed that Broncos defensive players were targeting Panthers quarterback Cam Newton with dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits, without any repercussions from the referees. Thomas Davis and Greg Olsen spoke in post-game interviews about the fact that Newton wasn't getting the calls that they believe are necessary to keep quarterbacks like Newton safe. 

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Police have made an arrest in a Labor Day shooting that occurred outside of Northlake Mall. Antonio Gaines, 27, was arrested on Pine Street yesterday. Police say he was found with a loaded handgun, and a search of the residence turned up an additional handgun and rifle ammunition. Gaines has been charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. 

Police responded to Northlake Mall at around 3:14 p.m. on Monday in response to a call for shots fired. They found evidence of a shooting in the parking lot, but were originally unable to find a suspect or victim. They eventually identified the victim, who has yet to be identified, and suspect. The two are said to be known to one another and had been involved in prior altercations that led to the shooting.

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Tomika Richardson
  • Tomika Richardson
Police are asking for help in finding a woman who cut off the electronic monitoring bracelet she was ordered to wear as part of her pre-trial release agreement. Tomika Richardson is wanted on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, damage to property and interfering with an electronic monitoring device. Police say she cut the bracelet off yesterday and was last known to be on Key Street, near exit 35 (Glenwood Drive) off I-85.  

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lunch Break (9/8/16): How did NC reps do in AAUW report card on congressional votes affecting females?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 11:43 AM


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) released its annual 2016 Congressional Voting Record this morning, providing a report card outlining how senators and representatives voted on women's issues in the 114th Congress (from January 2015 to August 2016), and it looks like many of North Carolina's representatives will be held back a grade. 

In the Senate, Sens. Richard Burr (R) and Thom Tillis (R) both scored a 25 percent, voting in accordance with AAUW's positions in two out of eight votes on the report card. Their only positive votes came in relation to the Justice for Victim of Human Trafficking Act and Women Airforce  Service Pilot Arlington Inurnment Restoration Act. However, Thillis and Burr voted against women's interests, according to the AAUW, in six other votes, including bills related to the economy, education, and civil rights. 

Alma Adams at a Charlotte press conference in March.
  • Alma Adams at a Charlotte press conference in March.
In the House of Representatives, a few of North Carolina's representatives fared better, including Rep. Alma Adams (D), whose newly drawn 12th district is now fully in Charlotte. Adams scored 100 percent on the AAUW report card, voting positively for women in nine out of nine relative votes. Other scores above 50 percent in North Carolina included Rep. David Price (D), who scored 88 percent, and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D), who scored 78 percent. Many North Carolina representatives in the House scored even lower than the above-mentioned senators, with eight out of 13 representatives being scored at 22 percent. 

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Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics' widely read, nonpartisan publication Sabato's Crystal Ball moved his ranking for North Carolina's gubernatorial race from "toss-up" to "leans Democratic," favoring Attorney General Roy Cooper. 

"As things stand, Cooper leads in both major polling averages by about four points. Not only that, but both aggregators find the Democrat running ahead of his presidential standard bearer by a couple of points," Sabato and others wrote. "While the gubernatorial race is certainly close, because Cooper may be in a stronger position than Clinton suggests that a Democratic pickup could be on the cards in the Tar Heel State." 

Sabato cited a recent Monmouth poll showing that McCrory's infamous House Bill 2 has an approval rating of 36 percent and a disapproval rating of 55 percent. 

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Two North Carolina men have been arrested on federal conspiracy charges after allegedly hacking several federal officials and U.S. government computer systems. Andrew Boggs, aka INCURSIO, 22, of North Wilkesboro, and Justin Liverman, aka D3F4ULT, 24, of Morehead City were arrested this morning and, yes, the U.S. Department of Justice used numbers in Liverman's alias in their official press release. 

According to the release, Liverman and Boggs were members of a hacking group called "Crackas with Attitude," and used “social engineering” hacking techniques, including victim impersonation, to gain unlawful access to the personal online accounts of senior U.S. government officials, their families and several U.S. government computer systems. The men allegedly uploaded personal information they obtained from victims' private accounts onto public websites. They also allegedly made harassing phone calls and defaced their social media accounts. These are some very bad boys we're dealing with here. 

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