CMPD Says Suspects Likely Targeted Elderly Woman in August 28, 2015 Home Invasion

From http://www.wcnc.com by Bora Kim, August 28, 2015

Police looking for the suspects responsible for a home invasion Friday morning in west Charlotte.

Officers were called to the home on the 1300 block of LaSalle Street around 7a.m.

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the 73-year-old victim came to him and asked that he call police.

He says she was in the shower when two men kicked in the back door. She told him they tied her up as they ransacked the house.

“She is elderly, she doesn’t bother anybody, she is the sweetest person you could ever meet. I don’t understand why anybody would want to do something like that to her,” said Shanika Ferguson, who lives next door.

“I’m feeling kind of scared. I’m ready to leave,” she said.

Responding officers canvassed the neighborhood looking for the suspects and information leading to an arrest.

Investigators have reason to believe this was not a random act of violence, and that the suspects may have targeted the home looking for drugs.

“What in the world is going on…. I’m getting upset,” said neighbor Keisha Jones, “I am devastated.”

A witness says he saw a black SUV parked outside the victim’s house with a female driver. He assumed they were waiting for the school bus.

“One was in the car, then I guess two came out the back door, cause she said two of them got her. I did see two people get in there, but I didn’t know what was going on.” he said.

Neighbors are growing increasingly anxious, since this home invasion comes four days after a deadly shooting at the gas station across the street.

The victim’s daughter says the family is now making arrangements to ensure her safety.

“My mother is fine, we want to let PD do their investigation, but mother is fine at the moment.”

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Searching for Man Who Robbed Dilworth Bank in Broad Daylight on August 27, 2015

From http://www.wcnc.com by Anjanette Flowers, August 28, 2015

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and the FBI are on the lookout for a bold robber who held up a busy Charlotte bank right in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday, August 28, 2015.

“It’s pretty shocking to be honest. It’s a pretty busy street. For someone to have the audacity to do that takes a lot of courage,” said Taylor Beringer, a Dilworth resident.

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According to investigators, the suspect walked into the PNC Bank on East Boulevard in Dilworth around 3p.m. Thursday.

That’s “one block away from where I live,” said Jim Bailey, who’s lived in Dilworth for more than 30 years.

“It’s a little crazy, said Ryan Mollen who also lives nearby.

Stephanie LaClair agrees, It’s “a little scary, a little disturbing especially for this area.”

Mollen added, “We both live right down the street.”

According to police, the suspect demanded money, indicated that he had a weapon and took off in a car.

“School buses are frequent around here and you think that a parent would be picking up their kid at the sidewalk and all of a sudden someone comes out potentially armed. I mean, that’s a scary situation,” said Beringer.

Anyone with information about the bank robbery to call Crime Stoppers 704-334-1600.

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Documents Show Influence of MS-13 Gang in Charlotte Area

From http://www.wcnc.com by Sarah Hagen, August 28, 2015

Troubling new information has been released about a notoriously violent gang. Newly unsealed documents say M-S 13 is increasing its presence here in Charlotte– despite dozens of arrests by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

MS-13 has been on federal radar for about 15 years now. FBI investigators say there’s been a rapid rise in MS-13 gang activity in our city. Earlier this year FBI agents in Charlotte arrested dozens of alleged gang members from the violent MS-13 street gang with indictments on charges of murder, racketeering and witness tampering.

“They are an international gang– probably the most violent in America,” said retired FBI Criminal Division Assistant Director Chris Swecker, who is no stranger to this topic.

He led the charge in 2006 when the FBI formed a national task force targeting MS-13.

“They were violent, killing witnesses in federal prosecutions– they use machetes.”

In the search warrants, it’s stated gang members had CMPD documents in their possession, names and addresses of officers, victims and witnesses, which were circled and crossed off with notes in Spanish.

FBI investigators say a 2008 roundup of gang members did have an impact but there are still young members attempting to reorganize.

“Sometimes when you disrupt the leadership you create leadership vacuums– younger members step up and get involved in violent confrontations,” said Swecker.

FBI officials say there are red flags to look for: gang colors: blue, black and white; the initials M-S; the number 13; or numbers that add up to 13, like 76 – that’s 7 plus 6.

Experts say it’s important to remain vigilant.

“We don’t want to become a place where gangs are well entrenched and dominate … they’ve been well contained up until now,” said Swecker.

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Attorney General Won’t Retry Kerrick in Shooting Death of Ferrell

From http://www.wcnc.com by Rad Berky & WCNC Staff, August 28, 2015

The North Carolina Attorney General, Roy Cooper, will not retry Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Randall Kerrick.

Cooper held a news conference at his office in Raleigh and said, “our prosecutors believe unanimously that a retrial will not yield a different result.”

One week ago a jury deadlocked eight to four in favor of acquitting Kerrick, who was charged with voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell back in September of 2013.

The jury foreman, speaking for the jury, said the only thing the 12 members could agree on was that a unanimous decision could not be reached even if deliberations continued.

A mistrial was declared touching off two nights of mostly peaceful protests in Charlotte, with demonstrators demanding that Kerrick face trial again.

Kerrick did not appear to show much emotion when the judge declared the mistrial; he stared straight at the judge and only seemed to give a smile of relief moments afterward.

Protests began moments of the mistrial being declared last week. Protesters marched through uptown and gathered outside BB&T Ballpark, where the Knights were playing on Friday night. The scene became tense between police and protesters. Two people were arrested during the protests last weekend.

The case was handled by the Attorney General’s prosecutors to avoid a conflict of interest by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office, which works closely with CMPD.

Cooper did say that he believed the charge against Kerrick was warranted.

“While our prosecutors believed that the elements of voluntary manslaughter were met by the facts and the law in this case, only four members of the jury agreed with us.”

Cooper also said as far as he is concerned, the case against Kerrick is closed– short of some new evidence surfacing.

“The prosecutors believe that overall the jury was conscientious and the judge was fair, but even taking all that into account, meeting the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt could not be achieved.”

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office sent out a statement after the Attorney’s Office decide to drop charges against Kerrick:

“The DA’s Office was notified today that the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office will not retry Randall Kerrick. Within days of the incident in 2013, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray requested that the Attorney General’s Office prosecute the case against Mr. Kerrick because of a professional conflict, and that office has had complete independence in making all decisions related to the case since that time. The DA’s Office has made it a practice to not comment on cases handled by other prosecutorial agencies. Because the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted this matter, the DA’s Office respectfully directs all inquiries to the Office of the Attorney General.

“The DA’s Office, police and community groups are working together to engage in open conversations about the criminal justice system. Charlotte has been uniquely proactive in these efforts, and as we move forward, we must continue to seek justice, build trust and strive toward a fair and equal system. This office is committed to working with all members of the community to ensure that the justice system works to the benefit of everyone.”

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Commentary: In Kerrick trial, GuvCo is Guilty

From The Charlotte Observer by Keith Larson, August 18, 2015

The Kerrick verdict will soon come, but another is already known, and the video was the key. Follow closely.

September 14, 2013. Chief Rodney Monroe charged CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter only 19 hours after Jonathan Ferrell was shot to death. The speed stunned experts. A unit reporting to Deputy Chief Kerr Putney handled the investigation.

Why so fast, people wondered? Political correctness, was the suggestion. Kerrick is white, Ferrell was black, and Charlotte didn’t want to be seen as other race-troubled cities.

Monroe declared a dash cam video clearly showed Ferrell was unarmed, and Kerrick used excessive, unlawful force. He did not release the video.

CMPD did release the 911 call and police radio traffic, but again, not the video. People started getting the message: it must be bad for Kerrick. When I called on CMPD to release it as other agencies have released officer-involved shooting videos, people chided, “why are you trying to railroad this officer?”

Prosecutors and Kerrick’s attorneys were united: releasing the video would jeopardize Kerrick’s right to a fair trial. A judge agreed. No video.

Okay, we get the message.

January, 2014. A Mecklenburg County grand jury hears 277 cases and indicts on every one but Kerrick. Instead of voluntary manslaughter jurors asked for a lesser, “involuntary” charge. Prosecutors went to a different grand jury, called more witnesses, and got what they wanted. They supposedly played the video.

May, 2015. With the trial looming, the city suddenly settles a civil suit filed by Ferrell’s family for $2.25 million, a huge payoff compared with similar cases. Four days later, a bombshell: Rodney Monroe will retire July 1, before the trial. In less than a month, a new chief: Kerr Putney. He had applied unsuccessfully for chief spots in Raleigh and Winston-Salem but quickly scored the Charlotte job.

Finally, the trial, and the infamous video is nothing like we were led to believe. It is no smoking gun, literally or figuratively. Jonathan Ferrell runs toward an officer after a Taser shot misses. There are three shouts to stop before gunshots are heard. So, why were they all keeping it under wraps?

Precisely because the video alone does not convict Kerrick. Because it at least raises questions about whether he killed without justification. Because, as an African American caller told me: “If that video had been shown earlier, a lot of people – minorities and whites – would have had a different opinion.”

By the time we realize the video’s not the slam dunk Monroe made it out to be, he’s gone. By the time anyone might question Kerr Putney’s investigation, he’s the chief. If Kerrick is not convicted, it’s Democrat Roy Cooper’s fault because Republican Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray had recused himself. If anything hits the fan in Charlotte, it’s that mostly-white jury’s fault.

The video was supposed to clearly show an officer guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Instead it showed how Rodney Monroe and GuvCo committed voluntary career slaughter.

Larson is mid-morning host at WBT-AM (1110)

Published in: on August 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment