Number of Guns in CMS Schools Down Compared to Previous Years, but Holding Steady, State Report Shows

In the report however, overall CMS’s crime rate rose by 8 percent compared to a statewide crime rate drop of 1 percent.

From WBTV by Chandler Morgan, March 8, 2018

“Having a gun makes them feel powerful,” that’s what one CMS student said when we asked him about why guns are so popular for teens these days.

But despite the reasons, the numbers are in and they’re down, according to the recent release of North Carolina’s statewide schools report.

We’re talking about the number of CMS students bringing guns to school – according to the report, that number and percentage has been cut in half.

During the 2016-17 school year, CMS students brought 19 guns to school – which was a decade record high – but the recent report shows in the 17-18 school year only nine CMS students were found with a gun at school.

CMS says in an unofficial count, they’ve found nine guns in schools so far this year, with two more months of school still to go.

Also something that’s changed for CMS schools this year? Random security screenings. In a statement Friday – CMS saying “Guns have no place at school.”

Mentioning the new screenings – including metal detectors, wanding students – searching for guns, is another attempt to fight crime in CMS schools.

In the report however, overall CMS’s crime rate rose by 8 percent compared to a statewide crime rate drop of 1 percent.

 

Published in: on March 10, 2019 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rayquan Borum Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in Fatal Shooting During Charlotte Riots in 2016

 From http://www.wbtv.com, March 8, 2018

The man accused in a deadly shooting during the 2016 riots in Charlotte was found guilty of second-degree murder in court Friday.

“I realize this is a tense, emotional time… I won’t put up with an outburst of any kind,” the judge warned as the jury was brought back into the room. “You will be summarily removed.”

Deputies were positioned around the courtroom as the verdict was read – guilty of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. The verdict was unanimous.

Rayquan Borum was on trial for first-degree murder in the shooting of Justin Carr, who died when demonstrators took to the streets to protest the officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Police say when a crowd gathered in front of the Omni Hotel, Carr was fatally wounded.

Carr’s mother made a statement after the verdict was read.

“Just want to say the whole time, I felt like my son was lost in this, [and] the trial was made about the defendant,” Vivian Carr said, adding that her “son went down to for a purpose” and her “grandson will never meet his father.”

The judge asked Borum if he had a statement before his sentencing. Borum remained silent.

Borum was then sentenced to serve two consecutive sentences: 276-344 months (23-28.6 years) on the second-degree murder charge and 14-26 months (2.17 years) on the firearm charge. He will get credit for the 896 days he was behind bars before the trial.

Police arrested Borum shortly after the uptown shooting and charged him with first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.

One of the elements of first-degree murder is intent. Prosecutors had to prove Borum was intending to kill. Prosecutors say Borum was aiming for police, who were trying to move the crowd back from the Omni Hotel, but the bullet hit Carr.

The state said just because Carr was the one who was fatally wounded instead of a police officer doesn’t mean intent goes away – it just transfers.

With less than an hour before the first full day of deliberations ended Thursday, jurors in the Rayquan Borum murder trial had a question for the judge.

“The question reads is ‘there a legal criteria for engaging in a riot or are you inherently engaged by virtue of being there?’” Judge Gregory Hayes read from a note the jury sent him.

The judge told them “the state must prove the defendant willfully engaged in riot and willfully is intentionally and without justification or excuse.”

Eight women and four men began deliberating Wednesday afternoon. Within an hour of deliberating, jurors had two questions. The first one was about evidence.

“It says photos, voice calls, and videos” said Judge Gregory Hayes as he read from the note jurors sent him.

Jurors told the judge they wanted to see most of the 124 pieces of evidence prosecutors presented. They requested all photos, and asked for transcripts of videos of interviews Charlotte Mecklenburg Police conducted with two witnesses.

One of the witnesses was a reporter who was covering the riots, and was at the scene when the shooting happened and called 911.

The second transcript that jurors asked to review was from the man who was with Borum the night of the shooting and said he saw Borum shoot. The jury also asked for transcripts of phone calls.

About 15 minutes later, the jury had a second question. They asked the judge for the definition of possession. The other charge Borum is facing is possession of firearm by felon.

Before deliberations began, each side had a chance to talk to the jury one last time to argue their case and try to persuade jurors.

“You’ve seen the evidence,” said Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Desmond McCallum, as he asked the jury to apply the facts to the law and told them there’s “only one verdict – guilty.”

Prosecutors painted the picture of a night with two faces. There was the face of Justin Carr and peaceful protesters making a statement about a police shooting. Then ADA McCallum turned to the other side of the night when he said Rayquan Borum took part in mayhem and looting and incited violence against police.

“Grip a glock, shoot back” McCallum said that’s what Borum was chanting in a video played for jurors.

“That tells what his intention was – this is shoot back. He’s telling you what he wants,” said McCallum and reminded jurors of the videos and screen shots that showed what investigators say is Borum firing the gun outside the Omni Hotel. Prosecutors contend he was aiming for police.

“Once that bullet left it doesn’t have a name” McCallum said.

The prosecution said when police questioned Borum after he was arrested, he told investigators that he broke up the gun and threw it out of the window. Detectives say when they searched the house where Borum lived, they found 9mm bullets similar to the spent shell casing found at the scene. And then there were the phone calls that Borum made from jail. The prosecutor told jurors – put the evidence together.

McCallum told jurors there’s nothing he could say that would bring Justin Carr back.

“Only thing that can be done is justice,” he said. “Hold that man accountable…hold him accountable for first degree murder.”

“The state hasn’t proven anything. The state hasn’t proven my client shot Justin Carr” said defense attorney Mark Simmons.

Simmons told jurors that detectives didn’t do a thorough investigation and didn’t test the shell casing found at the scene that he says was left unsecure for hours. The defense says CMPD didn’t want answers. They wanted to make an arrest.

“What police officer was Mr Borum trying to shoot,” asked Simmons. He told jurors there was a concrete wall separating Borum from police.

“If you believe Mr. Borum was shooting at all – how in the world did he intend to kill a police officer if there was a concrete barrier between him and all the police officers?”

Borum made a threat on a judge using someone else’s personal identification number, prosecutors said last week.

The prosecution said Borum seemed to be looking for a magical remedy to his circumstances in making multiple calls to his mother using another inmates ID number and trying to raise some money.

“To pay a voodoo healer in Raleigh in order to obtain that practitioners services,” said the prosecution.

The judge says when he first heard the call he was concerned for his family’s safety, but following an investigation, that was no longer a concern.

“I am now completely able to fairly and partially and ethically preside over this trial,” said Judge Hayes.

A lot of what happened the night of the shooting was captured on video, which prosecutors used to take jurors back to the moment.

A man who said he was working as a news correspondent making documentaries testified he was at the front line following and covering protesters and was outside the Omni Hotel when Justin Carr was shot.

“After I saw Justin – God rest his soul bleeding out on the ground you can see the blood – so the people started yelling at the officers come and get him, y’all gotta come and help him… four or five officers came out,” Rasheed Ali said. Testimony from police helped jurors go behind the police line.

A forensic pathologist and Medical Examiner for Mecklenburg County testified that Carr died from a gunshot wound to his head.

After Borum was arrested for the fatal shooting, detectives questioned him at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) Law Enforcement Center.

 

Published in: on March 10, 2019 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

2 Suspects Arrested in Triple Shooting that Left 2 Dead in West Charlotte

From wsoctv.com, February 27, 2019

Two people have been charged in connection to the triple shooting in a west Charlotte neighborhood Wednesday night, February 27, 2019.

Furqan Grice and Anthony Goodson have been charged in connection to the triple shooting that killed Ibn Marshall and Anu’bius Smith and injured a third victim.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Grandin Road, officers arrived on the scene and found a male victim with an apparent gunshot wound off of W. Morehead Street. Two other male victims were found inside of a vehicle two blocks away, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say.

All three were taken to the hospital where the two victims were pronounced dead.

 

As a result of an investigation, warrants were obtained for the arrest of Grice and Goodson. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they interviewed and arrested Grice Thursday. Goodson was arrested Friday morning by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT).

 

On Thursday night, police released 911 calls from the incident where a caller stated that she heard three or four gunshots in a row. The caller said she heard two more gunshots while she was on the phone with police.

 

“Pretty sure we heard gunshots and there’s somebody outside like laying on their horn,” the caller stated.

 

The caller went on to describe a person at the scene and said she saw the person throw a gun into a trash can.

An initial investigation revealed two of the victims remained inside of the vehicle during the shooting, while the third victim ran to a parking lot down the street for help, officials say.

Police also say they found two guns and some marijuana on the scene that was later seized.

 

Police were searching the area for witnesses to the incident.

 

This remains an active investigation and no further information has been released at this time. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on March 1, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Feds Say Six Charlotte-Area Men Arrested on Drug Charges are Linked to Mexican Cartel

From The Charlotte Observer by Michael Gordon, February 18, 2019

Six alleged members of a powerful Mexican drug cartel are in federal custody, accused of trafficking large sums of drugs and money through the Charlotte area for the past six years, court documents show.

The defendants, who federal authorities say were operating under the auspices of the Jalisco New Generation/Gulf Cartel in Mexico, are accused of moving shipments of cocaine and 100 percent pure methamphetamines through Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.

Federal agents have seized $200,000, which they say were the receipts from other drug operations that the group smuggled into the area from other drug transactions, court documents say.

As part of the investigation, investigators also had targeted five homes or apartments in Charlotte and Iredell County for searches. Five vehicles and a Statesville home have or will be seized, and 10 more cars and trucks are to be searched, documents show.

The Jalisco cartel is considered by many to be Mexico’s most powerful organized crime ring, accused of shooting down an Army helicopter in 2015 that left six Mexican soldiers dead, according to Business Insider in August 2018.

That year, as the group quickly gained power, Jalisco also was linked to the ambush killing of 15 police officers near the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, the Washington Post says in a 2015 story.

The six Charlotte-area defendants, identified in court documents as Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez, Raul Rangel-Gutierrez, Francisco Garcia-Martinez, Rodolfo Martinez, Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez and Rigoberto Rangel-Gutierrez, are each charged with drug trafficking conspiracy involving methamphetamines and cocaine. They were arrested earlier last week.

None of the defendants have legal residency in the United States, the affidavit says, and Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez has a previous conviction for illegal reentry.

According to an affidavit from Special Agent Timothy Bradley of the Homeland Security Investigations, who is assigned to Charlotte, the group has been moving drugs and money from Texas and into the Southeast since 2013 with Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez as its leader.

In an affidavit detailing the investigation, Bradley said federal authorities used wiretaps, a confidential informant and surveillance to map out “the large scope of the Rangel-Gutierrez drug trafficking organization within the United State and beyond.”

As recently as Jan. 22, the affidavit says, Oscar and Regulo Rangel-Gutierrez used another defendant’s car to transport $80,000 netted from the sale of three kilograms of cocaine from Myrtle Beach to Houston.

On Feb. 9, the group drove to Houston to pick up five kilograms of cocaine, which led to the six arrests when they returned to Charlotte two days later, the affidavit says.

Last May, according to Bradley’s affidavit, a joint investigation by various federal agencies began targeting Oscar Rangel-Gutierrez’ group as part of “Operation Lawless Town.”

 

 

Published in: on February 20, 2019 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Identifies Man Killed in Charlotte’s 18th Homicide of 2018

From WCNC, February 20, 2018

Police have identified a man shot and killed after a fight in west Charlotte early Wednesday morning, police said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reports 52-year-old Titus Campbell was found dead in a home on Tresevant Avenue just off Freedom Drive and Tuckaseegee Road around 3:30 a.m.

During a press conference, CMPD detectives said a dispute in the house led up to the shooting. Several people who were in the house at the time were interviewed by detectives.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on February 20, 2019 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Recently Released Convicted Felon Charged in South Charlotte CATS Bus Attack, Attempted Kidnapping

Kelvin Jeffrey Jones is accused of attacking a young woman and threatening to stab her at a CATS bus stop in south Charlotte.
Information from WCNC by Ashley Daley, February 20, 2019

A man has been arrested in connection with the assault and attempted kidnapping of a woman at a south Charlotte CATS bus stop.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that Kelvin Jeffrey Jones, 53, was arrested by G4S Police on an unrelated case and recognized him from photos distributed by CMPD.

Jones was transferred into the custody of CMPD and charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Jones is accused of grabbing the victim from behind while she was waiting for an Uber at the CATS bus stop at I-485 and South Boulevard around 7:30 Sunday night, February 17, 2019. The woman told 911 that the suspect told her if she looked at him, he would kill her.

“I just got stabbed right here inside the I-485 station,” she told the dispatcher, who replied, “Hold on hold on hold on, you just said you got stabbed?”

The woman says she began to walk away, when the man grabbed her from behind and held a knife to her neck.

Police say the woman used a stun gun she had with her and escaped with a cut during the struggle. She is expected to be OK.

According to jail records, Jones was released from prison this past September after serving a 9-year sentence for armed robbery.

“The goal when individuals enter prison is to rehabilitate them, sometimes that doesn’t always work,” said CMPD spokesperson Brad Koch.

On Tuesday, CMPD released surveillance photos and a description of the suspect. Within hours, Jones was in CMPD’s custody.

Jones is expected in court Wednesday morning.

“We hope the full weight of the justice system will now do its work,” said CMPD Chief of Police Kerr Putney.

Published in: on February 20, 2019 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

7 Charged for Driving Dirt Bikes, ATV’s ‘Erratically’ Through Charlotte

CMPD received numerous calls from the community reporting dirt bikes and ATV’s riding on several busy streets in Charlotte on Saturday February 16.

From http://www.wcnc.com, February 17, 2018

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have four people in custody after being accused of reckless driving on dirt bikes and ATV’s throughout several streets in Charlotte.

Police said around 3 p.m. Saturday CMPD received numerous calls from the community reporting approximately 70 dirt bikes and ATV’s riding on several busy streets in Charlotte.

Callers reported the dirt bikes and ATV’s on Morehead Street, Freedom Drive, Wilkinson Boulevard, Statesville Road, Oakdale Road, streets around South Park Mall and several other streets, said officers.

Police were able to locate the dirt bikes and ATV’s near the 4600 block of Oakdale Road, where four people were arrest and three others were issued citations.

CMPD said one of the four people apprehended, Kelvin Ross, 25, was arrested because the ATV he was driving had been reported stolen out of Georgia.

After further investigation that ATV was not stolen and the charges against Ross were dropped and he was released from jail.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is continuing to investigate this incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on February 17, 2019 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police Warning Parents About ’48 Hour Challenge’ that Encourages Teens to ‘Go Missing’

From Yahoo Lifestyle by Meghan Johnson, February 17, 2018

Police are telling parents to keep a watchful eye over their teens after stories of a “48-hour challenge” are popping up around the internet.

“It encourages teens to go missing for up to two days at a time and awards points for every social media mention while they’re missing,” KMOV reports.

Police say that in addition to being potentially dangerous for kids to participate in the challenge, it could also tie up authorities while there are real emergencies that need to be tended to. Anyone caught participating in the challenge could face charges, police warn.

This isn’t the first time stories of challenges like these have gone viral. After a similar alert went out to Michigan parents back in 2017, Snopes.com determined the trend was actually a hoax.

“In April 2015, the Daily Mail published a thinly sourced article titled ‘Parents left terrified by cruel new game on Facebook that sees children dare each other to vanish for 72 hours without telling relatives,’” Snopes wrote in 2017. “As with other panics of similar nature, the article breathlessly described as a ‘game’ that sounded of no real interest to teens whatsoever and included scant evidence that participants were actually undertaking the purported challenge.”

While it’s not clear where the 48-hour challenge originated, police say they are taking it seriously given the fact other challenges  like those around Tide Pods and the Netflix film Bird Box — became viral sensations.

Published in: on February 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gun Reports in CMS Hit a 10 Year High

From The Charlotte Observer by Ann Doss Helms, February 22, 2018

As the country reels from the latest mass shooting at a school, a new state report reveals that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools intercepted 19 guns at school last year, far more than any other district in North Carolina.

It marks a 10-year high, in a year when the statewide total declined from 118 to 105. CMS accounts for about 10 percent of total enrollment but almost 20 percent of last year’s guns on school grounds.

The guns were found at schools scattered across the county, including three elementary schools and a selective middle school magnet. None resulted in shootings, and the perennial question is whether CMS has an unusual number of armed students or an especially effective detection system.

Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Thursday he hopes it’s the latter. The district urges students to speak up if they know a classmate has a weapon, he said, and some firearms are intercepted before the student even enters the building. A gun counts toward the tally if it’s found on school ground.

“The important statistic for me, while we had 19 guns, we did not have a shooting,” Wilcox said.

Wake County, the only North Carolina district larger than CMS, found 13 guns in 2016-17, up from only one the previous year. New Hanover County, a much smaller district than Wake and CMS, had 12.

According to the 2016-17 school crime and violence report, Garinger, Mallard Creek and West Charlotte high schools each had three guns last year, while Rocky River High had two. Eight other schools reported a single gun: Ashley Park PreK-8 School, Crestdale Middle, Hopewell High, Huntingtowne Farms Elementary, Palisades Park Elementary, Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, Randolph Middle and Winget Park Elementary.

That might come as news to students and families. Wilcox says CMS doesn’t notify families about guns unless there’s a threat to students.

CMS is reviewing its school safety systems, including physical protection and staff training, after a former student gunned down 17 students and faculty at a Florida high school on Feb. 14.

The presence of guns and violence in schools often reflect trends in the community. Last year saw a spike in homicides in Mecklenburg County, though overall violent crime decreased slightly. Police Chief Kerr Putney has cited the prevalence of illegal guns as one factor in the surge of killings, and the Violent Crime Task Force recently concluded an eight-month investigation with 45 arrests on gun and drug charges.

The largest number of firearms reported in CMS was 28 in 2006-07. The district saw a sharp drop starting in 2008, but the number have risen the last two years.

On Wednesday the Observer requested the tally of guns found at CMS schools so far this year, but the district has not yet provided that information.

KIPP Charlotte, a charter school in northeast Charlotte, reported two guns last year, the only North Carolina charter school to report any.

The tallies are part of the state’s annual report on crime and violence in public schools, which covers such incidents as possession of alcohol, drugs and weapons, assaults on students and staff and sexual offenses. It will be presented to the state Board of Education next week.

In CMS the total number of acts reported went down, from 1,371 to 1,198.

Published in: on February 28, 2018 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police Officer Attacked at CATS Transit Center

From WCNC, February 17, 2018

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said a G4S police officer was punched repeatedly and knocked out during an altercation in uptown Friday night.

The incident happened around 6:00 p.m. near the transit center. The area of 4th St. near Trade and Davidson was closed for a time while the situation was under investigation.

CMPD said G4S Company Police Officer Jeffery Outen got into an altercation with Reginald Lewis Alexander, 49, who was loitering on the property. Investigators said Officer Outen had asked the man to leave multiple times, but he came back.

“When he tried to restrain him, it’s like he wasn’t having it,” said Thomas Smith, a witnessed to the assault.

Investigators said Alexander punched Officer Outen in the head several times, knocking him to the ground where he hit his head on the sidewalk. Police said the man kept beating Outen while he was unconscious.

Other G4S Police Officers arrived on scene and arrested the suspect. CMPD officers responded as well.

Officer Outen was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. He had multiple stitches, a broken nasal bone and a damaged orbital socket.

Alexander has been charged with assault inflicting serious injury on a law enforcement officer.

The brutal attack followed several cases of violence in uptown last year including a 17 year-old who was kidnapped, robbed and assaulted at the transit center over the summer. Within hours of that crime, three men were arrested for a brawl outside the Epicentre.

Published in: on February 28, 2018 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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