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Police powers will be expanded during Charlotte’s July 4th celebration

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

City Manager Ron Carlee has declared the Independence Day fireworks show and related activities in uptown Charlotte an extraordinary event.

The declaration bans people from bringing a range of items into a certain area, such as hammers, fireworks and other things that can be used as weapons. The declaration also gives police officers more latitude to stop people who appear to have one of those items.

The zone that will fall under the ordinance includes a large swath of uptown. A memo from Carlee to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe outlined the boundaries of the extraordinary event area: Church Street, Stonewall Street/Kenilworth Avenue, Charlottetowne Avenue and Seventh Street.

The memo notes that nearly 100,000 people have flocked to the center city in previous years.

“Significant numbers of young individuals have caused disturbances by blocking sidewalks and roadways,” the memo says. “They have also engaged in fighting and shooting fireworks into crowds.”

In 2012, seven adults were arrested during the July Fourth festivities. In 2011, there were four adult arrests and 11 juvenile curfew violations.

Independence Day activities center around the 9:30 p.m. fireworks display but stretch for hours before and afterward. Family activities will take place from 4 to 9 p.m.

Wootson: 704-358-5046Twitter: @CleveWootson
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