Politics & Government

New Charlotte manager unsure if city will make public its own Keith Scott review

New Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones
New Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones Steve Harrison

New Charlotte city manager Marcus Jones said Thursday he doesn’t know whether Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will release its own internal review of its policies and procedures that could have had an impact on the fatal confrontation with Keith Scott in September.

The city has hired the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation to review the department’s actions during the protests and riots that followed the Sept. 20 shooting. The State Bureau of Investigation reviewed the moments leading up to the shooting, and the District Attorney’s Office decided last month that no one would be charged in Scott’s death.

CMPD has said it will review internally other issues, such as whether officers could have de-escalated the situation and whether the department’s own diversity training and bias training are adequate.

“I’m not sure where (police Chief Kerr Putney) is with the internal review,” said Jones, who started as city manager Dec. 1.

But Jones said that he expects the city and CMPD to make changes, if necessary, before it takes months to finish a report.

“If we just wait for the end of the report we will have lost months,” he said. “We are working daily.”

The city could face a civil suit in Scott’s death. A document that questioned whether the confrontation could have been handled differently could make the city liable.

City spokesperson Sandy D’Elosua said Putney and CMPD are discussing some of those issues on a periodic basis at City Council public safety meetings.

Jones came to Charlotte from Norfolk, Va., where he had been manager for six years.

The city announced Monday that deputy city manager Ron Kimble is retiring at the end of January, and that Jones has hired his former deputy, Sabrina Joy-Hogg.

Jones said Thursday he’s open to bringing other people from Norfolk to Charlotte. He said that the deputy job was posted and that he interviewed other people for the position.

As deputy, Kimble’s area of focus was economic development. Jones said Joy-Hogg won’t have a specific focus but will work with other assistant city managers. The assistant managers will still report to Jones.

He said he wants his top officials to work together.

“I don’t like sitting at the head of the table,” he said. “I’ll sit four seats down. I’m trying to build a team where people’s titles are secondary.”

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs