© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
8801 J.M. Keynes Dr. Ste. 91
Charlotte NC 28262
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mecklenburg Sheriff Says Activist Group Outside Jail Is Defecating, Having Sex In Public

Claire Donnelly
Activists with the Jail Support group serve food across the street from the Mecklenburg County Detention Center.


Public defecating and urinating. Sex acts. These are among the things Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said are happening outside and near the sheriff's office. In a presentation to Mecklenburg County commissioners on Tuesday, McFadden blamed a group of activists set up across the street from the county jail. The activists said the allegations are false.

McFadden showed county commissioners three pictures of the handicap ramp outside the sheriff’s office. It was littered with trash and what the sheriff said were human feces and urine.

“We have to deal with the smell and the presence of human feces each and every morning,” McFadden said.   

A slide from Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden's presentation to a county commissioners meeting on Tuesday. McFadden accused an activist group of defecating and having sex on public property, among other things.

He said the sheriff’s office had “over 40 reported incidents” similar to this, including sexual activity on public property. 

“I was just informed of another sex act happening five minutes before this meeting," he said. "So we have this every day.”

McFadden also alleged someone had been bathing in the pond at Marshall Park in recent weeks. The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to whether any arrests were made in these incidents. 

During his presentation, McFadden blamed these incidents on a group that calls itself Jail Support --activists set up in a collection of tents on E. 4th Street who distribute supplies like food and clothes to people being released from jail. At least some Jail Support members are connected to the anti-police group Charlotte Uprising

“The sheriff is telling lies about what happens at jail support. What else is new?” Charlotte Uprising tweeted on Tuesday.

A Jail Support member known as “Lil Bit” said McFadden’s accusations are false. Members of the Jail Support group did not use their legal names because they said they are afraid of being targeted by police.

“We have nothing to do with that,” Lil Bit said when asked about the feces outside the sheriff’s office. 

“We have to walk past it just like everybody else does. And we hope that they can provide a solution ... so that it can be cleaned up for us, as well.”    

Lil Bit also refuted McFadden’s allegation that Jail Support members have been having sex outside. He said he’s also seen the person bathing in Marshall Park. 

“I don’t know who that person is. They’re not a part of Jail Support. So they’re just baseless claims that McFadden has made,” Lil Bit said, adding that no one from Jail Support was asked to speak at the county commissioners meeting. 

“They didn’t send us any invitation,” he said.

Mecklenburg County Public Defender Kevin Tully told commissioners after McFadden’s presentation that he was “bothered” that a Jail Support representative wasn’t invited. 

“I spoke at the predicate meeting to this one that if the board was willing to hear from them that I certainly could make efforts to have them present … to share their side of things,” Tully said.

He said clearing out the Jail Support activists -- like the sheriff’s office did about two months ago -- would be “like fighting fire with gasoline.”

“The fact is, it is not for the County Commission to decide,” said County Commission Chairman George Dunlap. “The sheriff has enforcement powers and so we can’t dictate to him when he might use those powers.”

A Jail Support activist known as “Assata X” said the group plans to continue providing its services “as long as the jail is still there.”

Want to read all of WFAE’s best news each day? Sign up for our daily newsletter, The Frequency, to have our top stories delivered straight to your inbox.


Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.