A Charlotte group Tuesday demanded stronger citizen oversight of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in the wake of last week’s fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
SAFE Coalition NC (for Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Ethics), a Charlotte-based group that has been promoting police accountability for the past three years, called for an elected Civilian Review Board with subpoena power and the authority to discipline officers, which would replace the appointed Citizens Review Board. Mack called the current system ineffective.
“I believe that any time somebody is appointed, they are in alliance with the person who appointed them,” said Corine Mack, a SAFE Coalition board member and president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP branch.
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The coalition is among many groups that have been rallying, marching and issuing demands since a CMPD officer shot Scott to death on Tuesday. Mack cited the shooting as part of a national trend that creates “a police culture that is viewed by many as an occupying and oppressive militia.”
The coalition urged the police department to form a delegation of community activists to review follow-up on the civil liberties resolution that Charlotte City Council passed last summer and make sure police training is culturally competent. The coalition also wants City Council to lobby the state legislature to repeal House Bill 972, which takes effect Saturday and requires a court order for police to release body camera footage.
Mack said she met Tuesday morning with police Chief Kerr Putney to tell him the list of demands would be coming. She and other members of the group planned to present the list to him after the 4 p.m. news conference. However, the police department was evacuated around 4:30 p.m. after police found a suspicious package and called the bomb squad.