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Monday, December 5, 2016

Lunch Break (12/5/16): KKK rally moved due to counter protests; Dakota Access Pipeline construction halted

Posted By on Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Hundreds of people showed up to two marches in North Carolina and Virginia this weekend to protest planned KKK rallies, which were eventually moved. CL contributor Lara Americo traveled to Pelham, North Carolina and Danville, Virginia on Saturday to cover the protests. Her video can be seen below. The KKK rally was eventually moved an hour away to Roxboro, as Burlington Times-News reporter Natalie Janicello tweeted a video of a convoy of cars waving Confederate and white supremacy flags, with one person yelling, "White power."


News that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be halting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline due to the denial of the final easement that would allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe was met with cheers and fireworks at the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota yesterday.

Desiree Kane, a former Creative Loafing staffer who has been living in the camp for the past six months, wrote a cautiously optimistic post on Facebook celebrating the decision this morning, but reminding friends that the people building the wall still may attempt to continue construction without the necessary permits and that the fight is not over.


A woman has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle following a car wreck in north Charlotte on Saturday that took the life of her passenger. Police say 37-year-old Stephanie Bennett was driving on Gibbon Road at around 4:41 p.m. on Saturday when she went off the road, then overcorrected, causing the car to eventually crash off the right side of the road. Leonilla Farber, 64, was sitting in the front passenger seat and was killed during the wreck. Police do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.

BREAKING: Governor Pat McCrory has conceded the gubernatorial election to Roy Cooper. The responses to the tweet in which he did so are pretty priceless.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

District attorney lays out case in decision to not charge officer in Scott shooting

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 6:08 PM

Following a press conference this morning in which District Attorney Andrew Murray announced that no charges would be brought against CMPD officer Brentley Vinson for shooting and killing Keith Scott in September, Murray released a 22-page report laying out his case for why his team of prosecutors does not believe Vinson acted criminally.

The report is broken into four parts: an overview of officer-involved shootings including legal standards and the district attorney's role in investigating them; a look at the Scott shooting itself that includes analysis of testimonies from officers on the scene and civilian witnesses, some of whom were said to later recant key claims; a closer legal analysis of why prosecutors do not believe Scott’s shooting was a criminal act; and a concluding statement from Murray that addresses the unrest seen in Charlotte following the shooting, among other things.

The following is a breakdown of the report, which can be read in its entirety here.

Part I: Overview of officer-involved shootings

This section begins by going over the role of a district attorney’s office in an officer-involved shooting, pointing out that a DA does not usually review cases in which police choose not to press charges. However, following an officer-involved shooting, the DA’s office does review all related files of the agency that carried out the investigation, in this case the State Bureau of Investigations.

The report emphasizes that today’s announcement is simply the result of the DA’s office deciding that prosecutors believe there is “not a reasonable likelihood of proving criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously to a jury.”

A DA’s office stating that a shooting was not criminal does not mean prosecutors necessarily believe the shooting was not avoidable or that police followed proper protocol. This is important in that the CMPD and/or Brinson could still be vulnerable to a civil suit on those grounds. Representatives of the Scott family said at a press conference today they are still considering a civil suit.

The report then goes into detail about the legal standards regarding officer-involved shootings, explaining that a police officer has the same rights to self-protection that a civilian does. The report cites legal cases, including a Supreme Court case ruling that “[t]he ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

These legal standards are discussed in further detail and in direct relation to the Scott shooting in Part III.

Part II: The Scott shooting

Much of this part of the report goes over step-by-step findings of how investigators say the Scott shooting unfolded, much of which has been reported already. It states that officers doing surveillance in an unrelated case saw Scott rolling a marijuana blunt in his car and were going to ignore him until they then saw him holding a gun, at which time they attempted to arrest him.

A still from body-cam footage of an officer on the scene was Scott was killed.
  • A still from body-cam footage of an officer on the scene was Scott was killed.
The report quotes officers as describing Scott at the time he exited his car as “having a ‘blank stare,’ being ‘in a trance like state,’ and looking ‘like he just wasn’t there.’” These are all behaviors consistent with side effects of the drug Scott was prescribed to since suffering a traumatic brain injury in November 2015.

Vinson said it was then that he felt an imminent threat and shot Scott four times, stating, “I felt like if I didn’t do anything right then at that point it’s like he...he was gonna shoot me or he’s gonna shoot one a [sic] my buddies, um, and it was gonna happen right now.”

Scott did not raise his weapon at officers at any time during the incident, the implications of which are discussed in more detail in Part III.

The report then goes into detail about the overwhelming evidence that prosecutors say proves that Scott did, in fact, have a gun at the time of the incident, a fact that’s been debated by many who did not believe the CMPD’s original version of events. The report cites evidence from the scene, eyewitness accounts and statements from the man they say sold Scott the gun on September 2, less than three weeks before Scott was shot.

The report then analyzes eyewitness statements, painting a picture of a chaotic time following the shooting in which witnesses made statements to police and media that were later recanted, either by witnesses admitting to embellishing statements in the hours or days directly following the shooting or admitting to not actually being there as they originally claimed.

For example, directly following the shooting, Tahesia Williams reportedly told media that she watched Scott exit his vehicle and saw a book fall from his lap. She said he raised his arms and asked what he did wrong before being shot by a white police officer, claiming that Vinson, who is black, arrived later.

According to the report released today, three days after the shooting Williams admitted that she did not see the shooting and that she was actually sitting on the couch watching television with the volume up loud at the time the shooting happened. She reportedly told officers that she did not see a book when she came outside to the scene of the shooting after the fact.

The report cited a handful of other examples in which eyewitnesses made similar statements to police or media that were either found to be inconsistent with proven facts or recanted by the witness.

This part of the report concludes with a statement that after 63 agents from across the state spent 2,300 hours on their investigation, the SBI found no evidence that there was a book on scene or that any evidence, such as a gun, was planted.

Part III: Legal analysis

Much of this part of the report goes into an aspect that has been hardest to swallow for many who have watched video of Scott’s shooting in footage taken by police and Scott’s wife: whether he truly presented a threat to any of the officers’ lives that day.

The report cites two studies on reaction time that they say prove that Scott could have hypothetically raised his gun and shot at an officer before that officer or one of his fellow officers could have reacted, despite the fact that officers were already pointing guns at Scott. The report, however, also admits that there is no way of knowing what Scott’s intentions were that day.

The report quotes John C. Hall, former unit chief of the FBI’s Firearms Training Unit, as saying, “Simply expressed, an action will always occur before an appropriate reaction can be initiated and implemented. Action always beats reaction … The practical effect in the field of deadly force usage is that no law enforcement officer is required to wait or can be expected to wait until he is absolutely certain what it is that a subject is going to do, or has in his hand.”

Part IV: Murray’s conclusion

Protesters at CMPD headquarters in the days following Scott's shooting.
  • Protesters at CMPD headquarters in the days following Scott's shooting.
Andrew Murray’s concluding statement is a thoughtful one; an important human response after 20 pages of data and analysis of an incident that ended in a man’s life being lost. Murray reflects on the loss the Scott family has experienced while also looking at the bigger implications the Scott shooting had for Charlotte. He acknowledged a city in which inequality has acted as a breeding ground for the unrest the city saw after Scott’s killing.

The statement should be read in full, but I’ll pull a paragraph to quote here:

“In the days that followed Mr. Scott’s death, we watched as long-simmering frustrations boiled over. I heard observers say, ‘This is not Charlotte’ or ‘This is not the city that we love.’ But it is. This is Charlotte. This is where our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues felt so passionate that they marched on our streets to call for change. Let me be clear: I have not and will not condone violence or property damage as a means of expression. But the fact that criminal charges are not appropriate under the law in this particular case does not mean we can dismiss the concerns expressed by those who raised their voices to raise the consciousness of this community. I think it is time that all of us recognize that this is Charlotte, and not everyone experiences the same Charlotte.”

As with the original shooting, people have reacted in different ways throughout the city and country to today’s announcement. While some have expressed feeling a sense of closure, others have voiced their discontent with what they see as another refusal to hold police accountable.

As I send this to print, I am preparing to report on marches planned throughout the city by those who do not agree with today’s decision. Creative Loafing will continue to update readers on the community’s reaction.

One thing remains clear, hours after Murray’s press conference and more than two months after Scott’s shooting, it’s still far too early to tell the long-term effects the Scott shooting — and the reaction to it — will have on our city.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Lunch Break (11/21/16): Anti-Trump protesters march through Uptown; man killed in west Charlotte home invasion

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 11:48 AM


About 150 people showed up on a sunny Saturday afternoon to denounce the recent election of Trump as president and march through the streets of Uptown Charlotte to voice their discontent.

Protesters met at Marshall Park at noon on Saturday to hold a rally in which a diverse group of speakers addressed the crowd, discussing solution-based strategies to minimize the effects of a Trump presidency and the importance to standing up to bigotry of any kind. Creative Loafing recorded a live-stream of the pre-march rally, which can be seen below.

After speakers addressed the crowd, the group of more than 150 people marched through Uptown, passing CMPD headquarters, Epicentre and stopping shortly at the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets before looping back around to Marshall Park.

The march lasted just under an hour and remained peaceful, with the only tension coming when a man wearing Trump/Pence t-shirt confronted protesters as the approached the center of the city. The ma stuck around, calling some protesters "fucking idiots," then telling nearby police officers he was threatened after a few protesters began engaging with them.

As the march continued and the Trump supporter began to follow along, local organizer Braxton Winston engaged with him, carrying on a discussion about Trump and his potential policies/policymakers and live-streaming it through his phone. The man seemed to calm down as he spoke with Winston and eventually split off from the group.

Organizers have already planned another Trump protest for the same time and place this Saturday afternoon in hopes of standing up against Trump's hate speech and the racist policies pushed by his him and his appointees.

Below are pictures from Saturday's march:


A 36-year-old man was shot and killed during an apparent home invasion in west Charlotte last night, according to the CMPD. Police say multiple suspects forced their way into Talea Craig's home on Rocklake Drive just before 11 p.m. last night. After a confrontation, at least one of the suspects shot Craig, who was later pronounced dead on the scene by Medic. Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call the lead investigator, Detective McKee, at 704-432-TIPS.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lunch Break (11/16/16): Warrants signed against local business owner for destroying Black Lives Matter installation; teenager dies after being shot Sunday

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 12:03 PM

A man who allegedly destroyed an art installation supporting Black Lives Matter and Equality NC in October is still walking the streets, despite the fact that two warrants were issued against him by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in October.

According to local artist Mark Doepker, he was followed on foot one day in Uptown by John Schmidt, owner of Midtown Search Group LLC, and when Schmidt caught up with him he began to yell intimidating things at him, including stating that he had a problem with the "N**gers Matter" sign above his car. The sign he was referring to was a spinning cube that showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Doepker says Schmidt then began trying to remove the installation. He was eventually successful in doing so, and police apparently witnessed the man break the sculpture off from the car and smash it on the ground.

Since the incident, CMPD has signed two warrants against Schmidt for destruction of property and assault, although he has not yet been arrested. In this clip from last night's WCCB newscast, reporter Courtney Francisco confronts Schmidt in front of his business, but he refuses to talk. Police say they are yet to find Schmidt, but Doepker tells Creative Loafing he has been calling to tell them his whereabouts and check up on efforts to arrest him for the past week.

Doepker says the installation was recovered and fixed up enough to where it will be displayed at an upcoming UNC Charlotte exhibit about protests and activism in Charlotte.

A photo Mark Doepker took of John Schmidt before Schmidt allegedly vandalized an installation supporting Black Lives Matter that was placed above his car.
  • A photo Mark Doepker took of John Schmidt before Schmidt allegedly vandalized an installation supporting Black Lives Matter that was placed above his car.


A 15-year-old boy died last night of injuries from a shooting in east Charlotte on Sunday afternoon. Zavier Ellis was pronounced dead last night at Carolinas Medical Center. He was found suffering from a gunshot wound on Sherington Way, off Albemarle Road near Mint Hill, at around 2:41 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. No arrests have yet been made in the case.


Police are asking the public for help in identifying two men who they say robbed a Family Dollar on E. Sugar Creek Road last night, shooting an employee in the process. Police say the two men entered the store at around 6 p.m. Police responding to an armed robbery call at the location found an employee suffering from a gunshot wound. Police ask that anyone with information about the robbery or the suspects pictured below call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lunch Break (11/10/16): Elementary teacher arrested on child porn charges; two arrested in Trump protests overnight

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Benjamin McMiller
  • Benjamin McMiller
Police this morning announced the arrest of a music teacher at Oakdale Elementary School on charges related to the streaming of child pornography videos. According to a release, police received an online tip in late October that someone in Charlotte was viewing child pornography, and later identified the man as Benjamin McMiller, music teacher at Oakdale Elementary.

Detectives went to McMiller's home during the investigation and seized evidence, and yesterday, McMiller voluntarily went to CMPD headquarters for an interview, during which he admitted to streaming videos. He was then arrested and charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.


Following a day in which thousands of high school and college students walked out of classrooms, oftentimes with their teachers, to protest the election of Donald Trump as president, people of all ages hit the streets last night in the tens of thousands to protest Trump's election in some of the country's largest cities.

According to the Charlotte Uprising Twitter account, two protesters were arrested during Trump protests in Charlotte late last night. Charlotte Uprising organizers said Dhruv Mazumdar and Lexa Rice were taken into custody. Protesters met at Marshall Park at around 11:30 p.m. and eventually marched to the Epicentre, although it's unclear when the two were arrested. CMPD Maj. Gerald Smith said at a press conference this morning that the two were arrested for refusing to leave the roadway.


Rece King
  • Rece King
Police have arrested 21-year-old Rece King with the murder of Christopher Watson, Jr., 27, last night in east Charlotte. Police responded to an assault call on Fairmarket Drive, just off The Plaza, last night just after 5 p.m. They found Watson suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and he was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police announced King's arrest early this morning.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meeting set to address public safety concerns in Plaza Midwood tonight

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 3:54 PM

Katherine Jones' death has led to public safety concerns in Plaza Midwood.
  • Katherine Jones' death has led to public safety concerns in Plaza Midwood.

The Vine United Methodist Church in the Plaza Midwood is sure to be packed full tonight following a heated debate on the neighborhood's private Facebook page following the shooting death of Katherine Jones in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 15. 

Shortly after the seemingly random shooting, neighbors took to the Facebook page to discuss public safety. On Oct. 19, a man named Scott Yamanashi posted about his desire to create an "armed neighborhood watch/bike patrol" to cruise the neighborhood during late nights between Thursday night and Saturday morning. 

The post — especially the "armed" part — created an uproar among some and led to a debate consisting of hundreds of comments. His follow-up post responding to the criticism and other posts about the issue led to more offshoot debates, topics of which ranged from race to treatment of women to gun control. 

The debate will continue in person this evening at the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association (PMNA) meeting at Vine United Methodist Church, located at 2101 Belvedere Ave. at 6 p.m. (note the change from the normal 6:30 p.m. start time) and members of the PMNA have asked for anyone who works, lives or plays in the neighborhood who would like to learn more to come out. 

As clarified by a PMNA member who posted to the page this afternoon, there is no armed bike patrol currently working the neighborhood, and Yamanashi's original idea is still just that, an idea. CMPD officers, including one from the Homicide division, are expected to attend tonight's meeting and give their insights. 

As far as Jones' death, detectives are still actively investigating the case. CMPD says it has stepped up bike, foot and car patrols in the area since the shooting. 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lunch Break (10/26/16): Local man a finalist for CNN Heroes of 2016; Urban League holds 'State of Black America' event

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 11:31 AM

A local man was recognized this morning on Anderson Cooper's "New Day" program as one of CNN's Top 10 Heroes of 2016. For 10 years now, CNN has been recognizing "ordinary" people who have dedicated their lives to changing the world. Harry Swimmer, who runs a horse farm for young people with disabilities in Weddington, just south of Charlotte, is one of 10 finalists who could be named CNN's Hero of the Year. 

Swimmer will receive a $10,000 cash prize as one of the finalists and his efforts will be highlighted during the global broadcast of "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" on December 11. Until then, online voting will decide who becomes the Hero of the Year. The winner will receive an extra $100,000 toward their cause. 

In 1994, Swimmer turned his for-profit horse farm into Mitey Riders, dedicating it to providing free, certified equine-assisted therapy to young people with a range of disabilities, including muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome and autism. 

Visit here to vote or to find out how to also cast votes through Twitter or Facebook Messenger. 


This morning, a group calling itself Allied Progress sent a letter to North Carolina State Board of Elections Chairman A. Grant Whitney, Jr. calling on state election officials "to root out those motivated by partisanship and/or racial animus in the administration of state elections," according to a release. 

The letter comes on the heels of a report titled “Something’s Rotten: North Carolina’s Shameful Record of Voter Suppression and the Partisan and Sometimes Racially Charged Motivations of Those Administering Its Elections," released after a months-long investigation into North Carolina's election administration. 

“The partisan efforts by some North Carolina politicians to reduce the participation of minority, senior citizen, disabled, and low-income voters in our democratic process should worry us all," Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, wrote in a release. "This report shows in chilling detail how so many of those responsible for administering North Carolina’s elections are motivated by partisanship and in too many cases, make disturbing racially charged and conspiratorial comments on social media.”

The Urban League of Central Carolinas is hosting a "State of Black America 40th Anniversary" event throughout the day today at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road. The event will coincide with the annual event of the same name held in Washington D.C., with this year marking the first time simultaneous events will be held in other markets in order to have more localized solution-based discussions about social mobility. 

Speakers at today's event include CNN analyst Bakari Sellers and Donald Cravins, Jr., executive director of the Policy Institute for the National Urban League. There will also be a press conference at 12:30 held by The Patriotic Millionaires, a group of high-net worth Americans who are committed to building a more prosperous, stable and inclusive nation. The group originally formed in 2010 to call for an end to tax cuts for millionaires. Below is an itinerary of panels to be held throughout the day, according to a press release about the event.  


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Lunch Break (10/21/16): Early voting continues today, find out where you can vote in Mecklenburg

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:30 AM

More than 3 percent of North Carolina's registered voters have reportedly already made their choice after the state's first day of early voting yesterday. Today, 10 of the 22 early voting sites around Mecklenburg County will re-open after about 160,000 voters around the state showed up to polls yesterday. 

Sites that are open today, a full list of which can be found here, include locations in the four corners of the county, including Beatties Ford, University, Ballantyne, south Charlotte, Cornelius and Steele Creek. If you don't make it out today, check back with the list to see which sites will be open on Monday. 


A young man was killed in southwest Charlotte just hours from his 18th birthday yesterday. Police responded to a call about a fight on Armour Ridge Drive at about 6:23 p.m. last night and found 17-year-old Jahee Hoke suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Hoke would have been turning 18 today. No arrests have been made in the case, but it does appear that Hoke and the suspect were known to each other. 


A 30-year-old man was killed in northwest Charlotte yesterday afternoon when the car he was riding in was struck by a pickup truck at the intersection of Mount Holly and Mount Holly-Huntersville roads. According to a CMPD release, 30-year-old Michael Brown was traveling southbound on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road when he struck a Mercedes-Benz traveling through the intersection on Mount Holly Road. Jonathan Dutton, 30, a passenger in the Mercedes, was seriously injured in the accident and transported to CMC-Main. He was later pronounced dead. The driver of the Mercedes, 33-year-old Russell Dutton, and his other passenger, Charles Grey, suffered minor injuries. It's unclear who was at fault in the wreck but alcohol and high speeds are not believed to be contributing factors. 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lunch Break (10/19/16): Charlotte Uprising organizer turns self in after press conference in Uptown

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Ashley Williams addresses media at a Charlotte Uprising press conference this morning. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Ashley Williams addresses media at a Charlotte Uprising press conference this morning.

Gloria Merriweather, a core organizer with the Charlotte Uprising, turned themself in at the Mecklenburg County Jail this morning on charges of felony inciting a riot and misdemeanor assault on a government official stemming from their involvement in protests following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September by a CMPD officer. 

Merriweather called the charges "ridiculous," but said they look forward to exonerating themself in court. 

"We have to show them that there are elements that we do control in this, that we will not just be persecuted, that we’re not just here making all this noise for nothing, that we’re actually standing for something," Merriweather said. "If that means I have to turn myself in to an unjust system to start a trial to exonerate myself, that’s exactly what I’m going to do." 

Merriweather said protesters have been searching themselves on warrant databases since some other protesters were taken by surprise by police at home or, in one protester's experience, while finishing a hiking trip. Merriweather became aware of the new charges against them on Friday, and spent the weekend preparing for this morning. 

"I can’t tell how hard it was over the weekend to prepare myself to go into what really for us is the lion’s den," Merriweather said. "The police department doesn’t protect our interests, it doesn’t protect our people, so willingly choosing to walk into this space to get a process started that will free us, that was a really tough thing to come to terms with. I’m 24 years old. A lot of people think we’re these seasoned veterans, but we’re just people who imagine a world that’s different than what we’re living in." 

Other speakers addressed those in attendance outside of the jail this morning, including Charlotte Uprising organizer Ashley Williams, who reiterated the group's list of demands, including the immediate demilitarization of the police department and its eventual defunding, as well as the release of all those arrested in connection with the protests. 

Protesters also continued to pledge their support to Rayquan Borum, who has been charged with the murder of Justin Carr, killed during protests in Uptown on September 21. Most within the Charlotte Uprising, including those like Merriweather who were standing within feet of Carr, believe Borum is being framed for Carr's murder and that the police are responsible for his death. In court, prosecutors have stated that Borum has confessed to the crime. 

Speakers at this morning's press conference included other protesters who have been arrested during or since the protests and have since been released. Michael Johnson spoke about her experience since being released from jail. 

"The trauma that I still face after has impacted my life, it’s impacted my job, it’s impacted every aspect of who I am," Johnson said. "Since then, every time I see an officer, there’s just this bubbling feeling, there’s a feeling of fear. I have a flight reflex, I want to run. I shouldn’t have to fear for my life, when you have an institution of people who are supposed to protect you." 

Following the press conference, Merriweather approached the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office Arrest Processing Center while still addressing the media, as can be seen in the video below, before entering the building with their lawyer. 

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Lunch Break (10/17/16): Police release photos of west Charlotte robbers, investigate Plaza Midwood killing; McCrory gets a slice in newspaper ad

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Police are looking for two teenagers they say robbed a convenience store in west Charlotte on Friday. According to report released this morning by CMPD, the two men pictured below brandished firearms in LaVilla on Freedom Drive on Friday afternoon and demanded money. Investigators ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.


Katherine Jones
  • Katherine Jones
Investigators are still searching for answers in the murder of Katherine Memory Jones in Plaza Midwood on Saturday morning. Jones was reportedly walking home from her job at Midwood Smokehouse at around 2:47 a.m. when she was shot dead on the 1300 block of The Plaza. It's unclear if there was any motive in the killing or whether it was a random act of violence. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 704-432-TIPS. 


A group calling itself Writers for a Progressive America took out a full page ad in Raleigh's News & Observer this morning to wish Pat McCrory a happy 60th birthday, although it wasn't what one would call a sincere pat on the back. The ad makes light of House Bill 2, which has been a huge failure of McCrory's administration on all accounts, and goes on to say, "Governor, we send you our best wishes today as you celebrate your 60th birthday. But the real celebration will begin November 8th when North Carolina votes to move in a more progressive direction." Ouch. 

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