Update: Local People Continue To Dominate Arrests In Charlotte Unrest
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested another 25 people Sunday night and early Monday morning in what police characterize as riots following peaceful protests.
Of the 19 whose arrest records included an address, 18 were from Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. One report listed a Tacoma, Wash., address, but the person had previous arrests in Mecklenburg County. Three listed no address and three were juveniles, so no identifying information was included.
Locally and across the country, there has been speculation about outsiders coming into communities to incite violent protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who is African American, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on Floyd's neck for nine minutes.
In Charlotte, some local organizers involved in the fight against police brutality have said that they didn't know who organized a Friday night rally outside the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police station on Beatties Ford Road and that they didn't recognize people who were throwing things at police that night.
Charlotte City Council member Malcolm Graham, who represents the Beatties Ford Road area, said in an interview with TV station WCNC: “Many of the individuals are not from Charlotte. They are from out of town. They’re agitating and instigating public violence and that’s not the way to solve our problems -- certainly not here in Charlotte.”
Former Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield posted on Twitter: “Why would you let out of towners come to our city & and lead in tearing it up?”
It’s difficult to tell whether speculation about outsiders in the Charlotte protests is accurate. But the sheriff's department arrest records show 49 of the 70 people arrested over the last four days list addresses in and around Charlotte.
Thirteen have no available addresses. The remaining addresses include two from elsewhere in North Carolina (Greensboro and Winston-Salem); one from Newry, South Carolina; two from New York; and one each from Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Washington.
Although that could mean they fit the category of people Graham and others are referring to, it also could mean they are local residents who have not registered yet for a North Carolina identification. North Carolina gives residents 60 days to update their address with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
A CMPD news release says Sunday's protests at First Ward and Romare Bearden parks drew an estimated 1,500 people and featured peaceful marches uptown. Another group gathered uptown around 6 p.m. and demonstrated peacefully for several hours before "protesters became violent and began throwing rocks, explosives and other objects at officers," the news release says.
Police used "riot control agents" uptown, and investigated break-ins and suspected looting between midnight and 3:30 a.m. Monday at Carolina Sporting Arms on South Boulevard, National Pawn Shop on East Independence Boulevard and Walmart on Wilkinson Boulevard.