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Crime & Justice

Charlotte Reaches 100 Homicides As Violence Continues To Climb

cmpd_ltbryancrum.jpg
Sarah Delia
CMPD Lt. Bryan Crum speaks to reporters on Wednesday about the ongoing investigation into the death of Jennifer Banner.

During its standing Wednesday press conference, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department wanted to remind the public of an unsolved homicide that occurred a year ago in the hopes of finding more information. But during that press conference, police also had to address the fact that the city now has had 100 homicides as of that morning.

Under a bright blue tent in the rain, reporters huddled to hear CMPD Lt. Bryan Crum go over details of a homicide case now more than a year old. The location of the press conference on Freedom Drive was chosen with purpose — near where Jennifer Banner's body was found on Oct. 16, 2019 just outside of a Shoe Warehouse.

"She had been wrapped in a towel and then in a tarp," Crum said. "She was discarded as if she didn’t mean anything to the people who care about her, love her and miss her."

Crum said while some new information has come in, there hasn’t been enough to make an arrest. He urged the public to come forward with tips, big or small.

The other pressing matter at hand was related: The rise of homicides in 2020. Less than an hour before the press conference began, CMPD tweeted there had been another homicide Wednesday morning — Charlotte’s 100th homicide of the year. That death comes on the heels of another homicide on Tuesday night in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood. Both homicides involved fatal gunshot wounds.

At this time last year, which was Charlotte's second-deadliest year on record, there were 86 homicides in the city. When asked why 2020 appears to be more violent compared to 2019, Crum said it’s a question the police are still trying to answer.

"People are resorting to firearms instead of resolving the issues in other ways," he said. "I don’t know. I wish I had a good answer for you. Because if we did, I think we would have an easy solution on how to stop this."

CMPD announced this week that due to the rise in violence, the department will match all rewards up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest in a violent crime. Violent crimes such as sexual assaults, aggravated assaults, armed robberies and homicides.

Like the 2019 homicide of Jennifer Banner. Or one of the still remaining unsolved homicide cases of 2020.

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