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Charlotte City Council Member Says Police Knew He Was At George Floyd Protest Before His Arrest

File photo of City Council member Braxton Winston, January 14, 2019.
David Boraks
File photo of City Council member Braxton Winston, January 14, 2019.

Charlotte City council member Braxton Winston said Tuesday that he had communicated with Charlotte-Mecklenburg police before he was arrested at a protest Friday night in west Charlotte.

The protest was in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. CMPD arrested and charged Winston with failure to disperse. Winston spoke to Mike Collins on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks Tuesday morning.

"I can tell you yes, CMPD did know that I was out there." Winston said. "I cannot tell you about the people that jumped on me and arrested me and what their mindset was."

Winston did not go further in describing the processing of being arrested and booked for failing to disperse, as he says he is still in legal proceedings.

Winston maintained he was helping to deescalate the situation between police and protesters. In an exchange at a public meeting Monday afternoon with deputy police chief Johnny Jennings, who will become police chief after Kerr Putney retires in September, Winston asked what he could have done not to be arrested. Jennings said Winston could have left the protest after police ordered protesters to disperse.

Winston also spoke to Charlotte talks about the differences between 2016's protests after the killing of Keith Lamont Scott and CMPD's issues in using its deescalation policy. The department revised its written deescalation policy in 2019 after community feedback and the killing of Danquirs Franklin.

You can listen to the full episode of Tuesday's Charlotte Talks here.


Michael Falero is a radio reporter, currently covering voting and the 2020 election. He previously covered environment and energy for WFAE. Before joining WFAE in 2019, Michael worked as a producer for a number of local news podcasts based in Charlotte and Boston. He's a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop intensive on Cape Cod and UNC Chapel Hill.