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Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Black Sheep and Nike SB collabo goes quick in nationwide release

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:19 PM

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Snow and ice couldn't stop over 100 people from showing up at Black Sheep Skate Shop in Plaza Midwood on Saturday morning to sell the store out of the “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” sneakers, the store’s newest collaboration with Nike SB, so it’s no surprise that today’s nationwide release saw the shoes disappearing from Nike’s site and independent shops around the country within minutes.

“I’m struggling to even describe it,” said Black Sheep founder Josh Frazier of the national reaction to the shoe’s release.

Not only did Black Sheep sell out of nearly 150 pairs of the Dunk High Traditional sneakers, — then go through an undisclosed amount of pairs available online in three minutes — on Saturday, but the Nike website also sold out of the shoes within a matter of minutes this morning.

“I was shocked by how quickly it sold out. It’s sort of unprecedented for it to sell out that quickly on Nike,” Frazier said. “I’m kind of reeling from the whole thing right now.”

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing is named as such thanks to some hidden features below the 
nikesb_dunkhi_blacksheep_scratchoff.jpg
 seemingly simple design. The shoe’s “Summit White” vintage suede along with white tongue and white Nike swoosh give the appearance and feel of a “sheep,” but sinister designs lurk below.

The white swoosh is susceptible to wear, and once its worn down or taken off scratch-off style, the shoe bears fangs once hidden within the iconic checkmark. The soles also depict a wolf's face in a symmetrically drawn graphic.

The “Wolf” is Black Sheep’s second collabo with Nike SB. The 2014 “Paid in Full” Dunk High sneakers featuring a Gucci print were hugely popular, and became even moreso after a legal snafu led to a recall, but even those can’t compare to the reaction the new “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” got.

What Frazier believes put things over the top for Black Sheep in terms of local sales was the exclusive packaging he put together with the help of some partners that drove collectors to the newly relocated shop on Saturday. A purchase at Black Sheep included a specially designed box, an exclusive “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” dust bag and other accessories — namely the exclusive shoe laces designed by San Francisco-based company Fully Laced that feature a pattern of blood spatter to go along with the shoe’s theme.

“We created the box to give us a point of differentiation. There are a lot of collectors out there, we wanted to give them a reason to want to purchase it from us,” Frazier said. He also shared the special packaging with some other independent shops around the country — “our friends,” as Fraziers puts it — as a way to support local ventures.

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As could be seen in retweets on Black Sheep’s Twitter account throughout the day today, local shops throughout the country sold out on Thursday just as quick as he did on Saturday, and by afternoon, the only pairs available online were size 6 or lower, for the most part.

In fact, except for the tight-knit sneakerhead community here in Charlotte, the release came and went with little fanfare locally, while national and international sneaker blogs hailed the release.

“I feel like we’ve gotten a lot more national coverage than we have locally,” Frazier said. “We’re kind of wondering, does anyone here even know?”

Unfortunately, if you’re just now finding out, it’s too late. The nature of the “quick strike” release, as Nike calls it, is to create buzz around a very limited release. Once their gone, there’s not much of a chance you’ll find them in stock anywhere again.

“I’m hoping that we might see a small restock, but I’m not certain,” Frazier said. “We sold through our allotment. Everyone is sold out at this point. It’s sort of the nature of these types of products. It’s sort of evaporated.”

They’ll certainly reappear online as resellers look to turn quick profit on the quick strike, as they’re wont to do, but as far as finding a decently priced pair with all the packaging, the odds are against you.

A release like this only comes around so often, and like the breath of a wolf hunting on a snowy day, the shoes will disappear into thin air as quickly as they appeared.

Better act quicker next time, Charlotte.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Walker, Charlotte Ranger aims to end Charlotte's NBA All Star drought

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Kemba Walker (right) and his deputy Frank Kaminsky in Walker, Texas Ranger.
  • Kemba Walker (right) and his deputy Frank Kaminsky in Walker, Texas Ranger.


Who said the local film industry is dead?

A new web series that debuted at the Spectrum Center over the holiday weekend is filmed wholly in Charlotte and aims to raise awareness for a problem that has plagued our local NBA franchise for years: no players in the All Star Game.

Let's just sidestep the fact that Charlotte was in line to host the upcoming All Star Game until House Bill 2 inspired commissioner Adam Silver to move it — lost to New Orleans just as the franchise itself was in 2002.

The more immediate problem faced now by the Hornets — one that can potentially be fixed without having to deal with slithery members of the NCGOP — is a six-year drought in sending a Charlotte player to the NBA All Star Game. The last player to make it was Gerald Wallace, who appeared in the 2010 game as a representative of the Charlotte Bobcats. It's been 14 years since a player went as a Charlotte Hornet, when point guard Baron Davis repped the Hornets in 2002, their last year before moving to New Orleans.

Now in steps a brave new point guard — one who has arguably proved to be the best at his position in franchise history in five-and-a-half seasons — with a cowboy hat, a duster and a seemingly magical basketball.

Over the weekend, the Hornets debuted the first two episodes of Walker, Charlotte Ranger, a web series that parodies the awful '90s Chuck Norris vehicle Walker, Texas Ranger. In it, Walker stars as the namesake of the show alongside his deputy, played by the goofy Hornets big man Frank Kaminsky.

SPOILER ALERT: In the first two episodes, Walker assists a young Hornets fan in distress with a simple bounce pass of his basketball, then saves Hugo from three bad guys — conveniently wearing shirts that read Bad Guy 1, Bad Guy 2 and Main Bad Guy — with juke moves. The main bad guy then makes off to New Orleans, where Kaminsky promises Walker will eventually follow. The acting is laughably bad throughout and can be hard to watch, but that's what makes it fun. There won't be any Webby awards handed out for these performances, but the Hornets are hoping the awkwardness of it all will lead to a trip to New Orleans for Walker.

The series is meant to inspire fans to vote Walker into the All Star Game. Corny but fun campaigns like this have become the norm for the Charlotte marketing team. In 2014, they launched a "Big Al's Paint" website in an attempt to make the case for Bobcats center Al Jefferson to be named to the All-NBA team. He was named third team All-NBA that year.

Near the end of the 2014-15 season, the Hornets launched a "MKG Security" campaign complete with commercials and a press kit seen below. That campaign to get Michael Kidd-Gilchrist named to the NBA All-Defensive team was not successful, although it appears MKG will reprise his role as "chief security officer" in an upcoming episode of Walker, Charlotte Ranger.

The Hornets are expected to release new episodes at upcoming home games on Thursday night against the Miami Heat, New Year's Eve against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jan. 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. All-Star voting ends on Jan. 16.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Lunch Break (12/19/16): Non-discrimination ordinance rescinded in surprise vote, expected to lead to HB2 repeal

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 11:30 AM


The Charlotte City Council held a surprise vote this morning in which they rescinded a non-discrimination ordinance passed in February with the understanding that it would lead to the full repeal of the infamous House Bill 2 by the North Carolina General Assembly as soon as tomorrow.

Governor-elect Roy Cooper released a statement following the city council's vote stating that he was told by NCGA leaders that a special session would be called for tomorrow with the goal of fully repealing House Bill 2, which is credited with losing the state millions of dollars in revenue due to boycotts and lost opportunities for economic development.

"Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte's vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB2 in full. I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full," Cooper wrote in the statement.  "Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state."

A section of the ordinance passed today states that it will no longer be valid if HB2 is not repealed by December 31.

Governor Pat McCrory's office released a statement confirming that he would call for a special session, claiming that the timing of the surprise vote proved that the entire issue was political in nature, aimed at unseating McCrory.

"Governor McCrory has always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were always blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists," wrote Graham Wilson, McCrory's press secretary. "This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves the entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor's race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state."

A statement released following the council's surprise vote reads in part, "The City of Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects its people. The Charlotte City Council recognizes the ongoing negative economic impact resulting from the passage of the City's Non-Discrimination Ordinance and the State's House Bill 2. The Council acknowledges that North Carolina House Bill 2 'supersede(s) and preempt(s)' the City's Ordinance. In order to continue thriving as an inclusive community and compete for high paying jobs and world-class events, the City and State must take action together to restore our collective reputation."

The surprise vote has been criticized by Charlotteans on social media who see it as a capitulation in a struggle the city has undergone against the state for nearly the entire year. Three months ago today, Jennifer Roberts stated clearly in a press conference that the city would not consider repealing the non-discrimination ordinance.

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Five people have been charged following shootings in the NoDa and Plaza Midwood areas on Saturday night that happened within 30 minutes of each other.

The first shooting happened just before 10:30 p.m. in front of the Spice Lounge on North Tryon Street, just outside of the NoDa neighborhood. At least two people fired shots in the club's parking lot during what was apparently a teenaged party. Four victims were transported to the hospital, all between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. One of the victim's injuries were considered life-threatening, although as of Monday morning, nobody has died as a result of the shooting.

Carnis Poindexter, Jr.
  • Carnis Poindexter, Jr.
Two teenagers were arrested and charged following the incident, although police believe the suspect who actually shot into the crowd is still on the loose. Police arrested Carnis Poindexter, Jr., 16, and charged him with possession of a firearm by a minor after finding a gun in his car following the shooting. Another 15-year-old juvenile was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a minor and shooting in the city limits. Police say the juvenile was riding with Poindexter and admitted to shooting a gun into the air after the original shooting occurred.

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About 30 minutes later, in a completely unrelated incident, a couple was shot following an armed robbery in Plaza Midwood. According to police, the couple was shot right under the Family Dollar sign in the middle of the neighborhood, where many people park to go to the surrounding bars and restaurants.

Antonio Worthy
  • Antonio Worthy
According to Lt. Durant with CMPD's Eastway division, a bike patrol that had been assigned for the area following the shooting death of Ketie Jones in October had been pulled out to help with the North Tryon shooting when the robbery happened in Plaza Midwood. However, two CMPD officers were working security nearby and heard the shots. One rendered aid to the victims while the other pursued the suspects. The suspects eventually crashed their car in front of the Presbyterian Hospital. A foot chase ensued and one person was arrested. Further investigation led to the arrest of two more suspects.

Recent reports state that 25-year-old Antonio Worthy has been charged with
Ebonee Ward
  • Ebonee Ward
 two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Jamall Glenn, 33, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and two counts of hit and run. Ebonee Ward, 29, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.   
Jamall Glenn
  • Jamall Glenn

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Lunch Break (12/16/16): Three killed in Charlotte on Thursday

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 11:20 AM


Two men were killed in what appears to have been a shootout that occurred in the Hidden Valley neighborhood in northeast Charlotte last night. Police responded to Spring Garden Lane at about 7:17 p.m. last night and found three people suffering from gunshot wounds. One man, 35-year-old Raheem Hammond, was pronounced dead on the scene. Two more were transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where 21-year-old Gary Stevenson Jr. was later pronounced dead.

Shortly after the incident on Spring Garden Lane, a fourth victim turned up on nearby Sugar Creek Road at the I-85 interchange. The two remaining victims — Jacques Stevenson, 26, and Tammy Hammond, 53 — are still being treated at Carolinas Medical Center. It's unclear whether Stevenson and Hammond are solely victims or will be charged in connection with the shootings, but CMPD stated last night that they were not looking for any additional suspects.

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Two men have been arrested for a murder that happened off Freedom Drive early Thursday morning. In that case, police responded to an assault call at about 2:45 a.m. yesterday on Eddleman Road and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene. His name has not yet been released, as police have not been able to contact any family members to notify them of his passing.

Later on Thursday, officers with the Mount Holly Police Department and North Carolina State Highway Patrol pursued a car into Mecklenburg County, where it crashed at the intersection of S. Tryon Street and Sandy Porter Road. The driver, later identified as Dequillar Moore, jumped from the vehicle and was chased by a K9 unit into the nearby woods. Moore was apparently already a suspect in the murder that took place that morning, because homicide detectives responded to the scene and later charged Moore, 27, with murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Detectives then identified Justin Hood, 29, as a second suspect in the case. That night, Hood was apprehended and charged with murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and assault with a deadly weapon.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lunch Break (12/14/16): Teenager dead after SWAT raid in northwest Charlotte, family disputes CMPD version of events

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 11:48 AM


CMPD investigators say a young man who died during a raid by SWAT in northwest Charlotte yesterday committed suicide, but his mother and her neighbors are raising questions about the incident.

According to a police statement, the CMPD's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team had set up surveillance on 18-year-old Timothy Davis outside of his home in Sparrow Valley Drive yesterday morning. He was wanted on warrants for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Police knocked on the door at around 7:20 a.m. and saw Davis peak out of a window. They then tried to reach Davis through social media, text messages and a loudspeaker, unsuccessfully.

The VCAT team then requested a SWAT team, which parked its armored vehicle in front of the
Still from footage shot in Timothy Davis's room last night. - ASHLEY WILLIAMS
  • Ashley Williams
  • Still from footage shot in Timothy Davis's room last night.
 home at about 10 a.m. The team continued unsuccessfully to try to communicate with Davis before deploying a robot, followed by a canine, into the home.

A SWAT entry team eventually entered the home and found Davis dead of what they say appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a room upstairs. The CMPD's Homicide Unit investigated the scene, as is standard protocol, and it appears the investigation was over as of last night, as the family was allowed back into the home.

Family members, neighbors and anti-police-violence activists held a vigil for Davis outside of his home last night. Davis's mother said she doesn't believe the CMPD's version of events, and said that her son would never have taken his own life. Neighbors have said they didn't hear a gunshot and agree with his mother.

Some community members reportedly cleared up an original theory that Davis may have been shot through a window, where an apparent bullet hole could be seen, by saying that the hole was caused by a BB gun previous to yesterday's incident.

In Facebook Live video taken after last night's vigil, Charlotte activist Ashley Williams toured Davis's home and took footage of the spot where police say they found Davis dead. Activists have demanded that CMPD release any body camera footage related to yesterday's SWAT raid.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Lunch Break (12/12/16): Vi Lyles announces consideration of mayoral campaign; stabbing death in south Charlotte

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 11:30 AM


Charlotte City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles is looking to take that "pro tem" out of her title, as she announced this morning via social media that she is forming an exploratory committee to consider a run for mayor in 2017. Lyles announced her intentions in two tweets this morning, one of which was attached to a Facebook link that looked as if it would go into further detail, although the link is no longer working.

Following her work in the city's budget department, including a stint as budget director, Lyles served as Charlotte's assistant city manager from 1996 - 2004. She was elected to city council in 2013 and is serving her second term. She was selected by the council to serve as mayor pro tem in 2015.

Organizations Lyles has been involved with include the Charlotte Housing Authority Moving Forward initiative, the Committee of 21 transportation initiative and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg African American Agenda and Achieve Together community-based advocacy education initiative. She also she served as the project manager for the Foundation for the Carolinas' initiative to conduct research supporting the creation of a local rental subsidy endowment for families and veterans.

Lyles was one of seven council members to vote in favor of the controversial I-77 toll lanes in January, and her role as the council's representative in the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization have led to the perception by some that she is more heavily involved in the decision than others on the council. It's unclear whether this will be an issue for her in her campaign.

As of now, it appears Lyles will be running against incumbent Jennifer Roberts, who announced her intentions to run for reelection last week, and N.C. Sen. Joel Ford, who formed an exploratory committee to look into running for mayor last week as well.

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Police are investigating a homicide that happened in south Charlotte this morning. Officers responded to an assault call on Archdale Drive at around 4:38 a.m. this morning and found a man suffering from apparent stab wounds. He was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police have not released the name of the victim, but do believe he is known to the suspect.

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A man was killed after being struck by a car in southeast Charlotte just before midnight last night. Police say Robert Melton, 48, was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk and wearing dark clothing when he was struck by 38-year-old Daniel Wayne, who was driving a Nissan Altima. The accident happened on E. Independence Boulevard at the intersection of Village Lake Drive. It does not appear any charges will be filed against Wayne, who remained on the scene of the accident and was not impaired by drugs or alcohol.

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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."


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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.

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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.
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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

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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:
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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.

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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.

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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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