Charlotte officials are declaring the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration an extraordinary event, allowing police to heighten security measures, including searches of attendees who arouse suspicions.
Thousands of people are predicted to attend the uptown celebration, including events at Romare Bearden Park, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza and nearby venues.
Five thousands people attended events last year in uptown on New Year’s Eve. It was also declared an extraordinary event. However, concerns remain elevated this year that there could be a repeat of the violence that occurred in September over the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
The shooting prompted thousands of protesters to take over sections of nearby interstates, vandalize buildings and loot shops at the EpiCentre. There were reports of two citizens being beaten by gangs of men, and one bystander was also shot and killed outside a Trade Street hotel.
Extraordinary event status applies to large-scale events or an events of national or international significance that attract big crowds. It allows the city to modify its permitting process for activities such as parades and specifies particular items that are prohibited from being carried by attendees.
City officials applied the same designation on Thursday to the Belk Bowl and its accompanying FanFest, which attracted thousands of sports fans to Bank of America Stadium.