A 45 percent white, 35 percent black city (the rest of the racial breakdown largely Mexican illegal immigrants helping build new homes and commercial real estate for white people escaping black crime).
In 2017, racial harmony in Charlotte is as rare as finding Ric Flair when it's time to settle up the bill after a heavy night of drinking.
But just as Flair used to brag he spent more on spilt liquor than most people make in a year, the black population of Charlotte is uniquely to blame for spilling the blood of their fellow citizens in the Queen City. [Homicides in Charlotte keep climbing. ‘We have to do something.’, Charlotte Observer, October 20, 2017]:
Homicides in Charlotte this year are on track to hit a total not seen in nearly 25 years, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney believes officers alone can’t reverse the trend.
Putney said the city’s overall violent crime has stayed almost flat in 2017, but the rise in homicides – 73 lives lost so far – is concerning. The loss has fallen disproportionately on the black community: the city is one-third black, but four out of every five homicide victims is black.
Putney said groups across the city will have to cooperate to make a difference.“Sometimes I feel like the lone voice in the wilderness screaming, ‘We have to do something,’ ” he said.
Previous spikes in homicide have been attributed to crack cocaine, in the early 1990s, and at least partly to gangs, in the mid-2000s.
So far in 2017, CMPD hasn’t attributed a single homicide to gang activity, and a fraction have died through drug-related violence.
Experts say it’s hard to identify a specific reason for the increase.
At least 28 homicides this year have been tied to arguments or domestic violence.
Putney said too many people are grabbing guns to end disputes.
Nearly 30 percent of all victims were black men in their 20s. More than half of the homicide victims know the person who kills them. Seventeen of those cases are classified by CMPD as domestic, with about half involving romantic relationships and the rest including people who were closely connected in other ways. Five victims this year are believed to have been killed by a son or son-in-law, police say.
Improving communication skills and increasing self-esteem for vulnerable young people are two ideas community activists and police leaders cite as ways to decrease the homicide rate – but neither will happen overnight.
That’s why one of CMPD’s priorities is helping people resolve arguments peacefully.
CMPD staff trained in mediation and conflict resolution sometimes respond to disputes while they’re happening, Putney said, and they also reach out to people charged with lower-level offenses like assault and communicating threats to try to prevent future arguments from escalating.
Eugene O’Donnell, a former New York City police officer who is now a professor in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, said the disproportionate way homicide affects poor communities and racial minority groups has contributed to a lack of political will to address the problem.
“Many parts of the country are not impacted,” he said, adding that people who can afford to “buy security” usually do so, whether that means an apartment building with a doorman or a gated community in the suburbs.
If the situation was reversed, O’Donnell said – if homicide victims were disproportionately wealthy and white – he expects outrage would be immediate.
“It’s a giant civil rights issue,” he said.No, it's not a civil rights issue.
It's an issue of individual black people being collectively responsible for almost all the homicides in Charlotte, though they represent just over 1/3 of the population of the city.
None of the homicides have been gang related.
None of the homicides have been attributed to drugs.
Almost all of the homicides have a black suspect.