The police killing of Keith Scott last September brought several nights of sometimes violent demonstrations uptown. So Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police hired a consultant to examine their operations and community relations. This week, reviewers from The Police Foundation of Washington, DC, make their first visit, with a public meeting Wednesday night.
The Police Foundation has been around for more than 25 years. It's an independent group that helps local governments and police departments improve policing, especially after events like the Keith Scott shooting.
Charlotte project leader Frank Straub says they're hoping to hear comments about CMPD from a wide range of people - including those who don't usually go to meetings. He says the goal is to gather people's "thoughts and feelings ... maybe some precipitating factors that led to the demonstrations .. then their reaction to how the officers performed during the demonstrations … and then what they would like to see as a path forward."
Straub says this week's meeting is the first of many, which will include smaller, private meetings at places like coffee shops, churches and barbershops.
The foundation also has been involved after other high-profile incidents, like police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina; and the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
"What we would really like is people who don't typically go to meetings, right … that don't typically participate in big events. That's voice that we want to really hear .. and we want to be able to give strength to that voice," Straub says.
The foundation review will cost Charlotte about $380,000 and is expected to take three to six months.
WANT TO GO?
The Police Foundation's Charlotte Community Stakeholder Listening Session is Wednesday, April 12, 6-8 p.m., at The Palmer Building, 2601 E. 7th St., Charlotte. Download a flier here.
The Police Foundation website, https://www.policefoundation.org/
To contact the Police Foundation or learn about future meetings, email PFinfo@policefoundation