ACC Moves Football Championship To Orlando; Mayor Roberts Calls For Repeal of HB 972
The ACC has announced that Orlando will host the 2016 football championship. Thursday's announcement comes two weeks after the athletic conference pulled the event from Charlotte in response to House Bill 2. The event will still take place as scheduled on December 3.
The ACC pulled the 2016 championship events from Charlotte and other cities in North Carolina days after the NCAA announced it would also pull seven championship events from North Carolina, also in response to House Bill 2.
The back-to-back cancelations prompted Governor Pat McCrory to attempt a compromise with Charlotte city leaders, saying he’d call a special session to repeal House Bill 2 if the Charlotte city council first repealed its expansion of the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which originally prompted state leaders to pass House Bill 2.
Charlotte city leaders rejected the governor's offer. At a press conference on Sept. 19, Mayor Jennifer Roberts told reporters she had no plans to overturn the expansion of the nondiscrimination ordinance. "We appreciate the state wanting to find a solution to the challenges we are facing and applaud the governor for recognizing the state should overturn HB 2," she said, "which the state can do at any time without action from the City of Charlotte."
Mayor Roberts Calls For Repeal Of New Police Body/Dash Cam Law
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is calling for state lawmakers to hold a special session to repeal the new police body and dash camera law that goes into effect October 1st. The law, HB 972, says police need only release body or dash camera footage by court order.
Protesters of last week's fatal police shooting of Keith Scott have focused their attention on the new law as they call for police to release of all footage captured before and after the shooting. At a protest in Marshall Park last Saturday, protesters with the group "Charlotte Uprising" issued a list of demands that included the repeal of HB 972, saying it would restrict access to police footage.
One of the law's primary sponsors, Republican State Representative Allen McNeill, has dismissed criticism of the law. In an interview with WFAE's Mark Rumsey, McNeill said, "Our bill says [the videos are] not public records, but neither are they personal records. This law does not put the custodian of the record in the unfortunate position of having to decide what is evidence and what is not evidence, what should be released and what should not be. It puts it where it should be -- it puts it with the court."
Meanwhile the Republican leader of the North Carolina senate, Phil Berger, released a statement on Wednesday saying Roberts "botched" the city's response to the violent protests and called on her to release the videos. The ACLU is also calling on Roberts to release the videos, but agreed with the mayor's call to repeal HB 972.
NC Unemployment Drops in August
North Carolina's unemployment rate dropped again last month. The rate dipped 0.1 percent from July to finish at 4.6 percent. The state's seasonally adjusted jobless figure is down from 5.7 percent in August of 2015.