Charlotte’s City Council has now pledged to take substantial steps forward on three areas that were key to the protests that shook the city over the past two weeks.
The protests were directly in response to the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed by a police officer near his home in north Charlotte. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said officers observed him with marijuana and a gun, and that he posed a threat to officers.
But the riots and protests that followed were more about continuing racial disparities in income, quality of education, policing and economic mobility.
[Agenda story: Have the past two weeks changed Charlotte forever?]
In a public letter, the council vows to take steps forward on trust and accountability in policing, affordable housing and workforce development.
Here’s some quick information on each area. You can read the full letter here.
Safety, Trust & Accountability: While reiterating support for CMPD Chief Kerr Putney, the council said they would work toward more trust and accountability between the police department and the community. Some of these efforts to date have included the widely praised “Cops and Barbers” program.
The council also pledges to work on implementing the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. While the report is long and detailed, some key components include changing the culture of policing from warrior to guardian, evaluating use of force policies, developing more non-lethal technology, reducing aggressive law enforcement and improving field training.
Housing. The City Council pledges to create 5,000 more affordable and workforce housing units over three years.
Jobs. The council says it will invest $1 million in a new workforce development program.
The letter comes after the City Council spent its last public meeting being berated for more than two hours.
The emotional public comment session included several calls for the immediate resignation of Mayor Jennifer Roberts, interim City Manager Ron Kimble and Putney.
“These are Satan’s family members,” one man said, pointing to the council members behind the dais.