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'We Must Change,' Charlotte Mayor Says As City Hits 103 Homicides

092019_uptown_charlotte_dc.jpg
Dashiell Coleman
/
WFAE
Uptown Charlotte is seen Sept. 20, 2019, from Suttle Avenue.

After Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles was sworn in for her second term Monday night, she said violent crime will be a focus of City Council in 2020. Her words came on the heels of Charlotte's 103rd homicide in 2019.

Police said a man who'd been shot died about 6:30 p.m. Monday after he was pulled from a burning car on the city's east side. Few details have been released about the killing at the intersection of The Plaza and Milton Road.

Lyles said she’ll ask council in January to review the homicide cases this year.

“To determine the neighborhoods most impacted by violence and guns so that the city, the county and our courts can begin to work together to provide evidence-based and community-focused services to our neighborhoods," Lyles said. "We must change the path that we have taken this year.”

This has been the city's deadliest year since 1993, when 129 people died in homicides. For context, Charlotte was much smaller then – with about 450,000 residents compared to nearly 900,000 today.

Overall violent crime is up, too. When the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released its third-quarter crime statistics in October, they showed an 11% increase in violent crimes over the same period in 2018.

Democratic council member Malcolm Graham called the rising homicide number a public health crisis.

“I’m willing to work with this council, work with the sheriff, with the D.A., Mecklenburg County — anybody who wants to call what we have in our community a crisis," Graham said. "Let’s do big things council, not small things."

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