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After New Year's Eve shooting uptown, some Charlotte City Council members want to focus on crime

A police building
David Boraks
CMPD's Central Division in uptown Charlotte

Charlotte City Council member Tariq Bokhari said the city will likely form a task force to study ways to make uptown safer after five people were shot on New Year’s Eve at Romare Bearden Park.

Bokhari said he met Wednesday with Mayor Vi Lyles, City Manager Marcus Jones and other council members to “brainstorm ways” to improve public safety.

He has also met with Mecklenburg District Attorney Spencer Merriweather and said other members of the General Assembly are willing to meet with city officials.

“What I really like is, people are really latching on to the data-based approach of saying let’s really focus on this in a super targeted way,” Bokhari said. “(We need to be) focusing on everything but particularly on the youth crime epidemic we are seeing in our community right now."

Nineteen-year-old Daevion Crawford faces multiple charges including five counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill for allegedly shooting five people below the knee on New Years Eve. They suffered non life-threatening injuries. Several had come with children or family to see the celebratory fireworks.

And 11 juveniles were also arrested uptown on New Year's Eve. Six parents or guardians were arrested in connection with their arrests, charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers were assaulted and suffered minor injuries, police said.

Council member Malcolm Graham is on board with bringing people together.

“We can’t have a shooting in uptown Charlotte,” Graham said. “That’s our living room. That’s our center of commerce. People live in uptown.”

WSOC-TV reported that 10 people were shot in and around Romare Bearden Park last year. Across the city, CMPD officials said there were 96 homicides in 2023, about a 10% decline from the 107 reported in 2022.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.