Protests in Charlotte Sept. 21, 2016
David Boraks / WFAE

Wednesday night’s protests in uptown Charlotte over a fatal police shooting began with a peaceful rally at Trade and Tryon streets. But then the crowd went in different directions: Some wound up listening to speeches of unity at an uptown church as others confronted police.

Protests in Charlotte Sept. 21, 2016
David Boraks / WFAE

There was another side to Wednesday night. Although the clashes uptown were eye-catching, the overwhelming majority of protesters were not violent. We're going to hear a conversation with a few of them. Bria O'Neal, Khiana Ralph and Leah Wright are young African-American women who live in Charlotte and came to the protests together. WFAE's Michael Tomsic asked them why. 

Protests in Charlotte Sept. 21, 2016
Tom Bullock / WFAE

This latest round of protests started peacefully. "It was all cool," said 31-year-old Eddie Thomas, "until riot cops came out. And once the riot cops came out, within five minutes, you had a man on the ground bleeding."

In northeast Charlotte Tuesday, a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer shot and killed a black man. That prompted a night of angry protests. Police say they’re still investigating but here’s what we know:

Officers went to an apartment complex off Old Concord Road to serve an arrest warrant. They saw 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott sitting in a parked car. Police say he got out of the car with a gun, and that’s when officer Brentley Vinson, also an African-American, fired.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police chief Kerr Putney has given more details about a fatal police shooting Tuesday and his department’s response to protests later in northeast Charlotte.

Over the past year, the CMPD and data researchers with the University of Chicago have taken part in an ambitious experiment. Can an algorithm help stop police misconduct before the incident takes place?

In part 1 of our series, we reported on the differences between the algorithm, known as random forest, and the current Early Intervention System used by the CMPD.

In part 2, we look at the results of this experiment.

Michael Tomsic

Charlotte City Council members approved new body armor and more community training for CMPD last night. They also got updates on the streetcar, the airport and the NBA All-Star game. We’ll get to those in a minute. But first, the votes involving CMPD and the frustration many at the meeting expressed about police treatment of African-Americans.

Police misconduct comes in many forms. From a rude interaction with civilians to a fatal, unjustified shooting. At worst these acts are criminal. At best they erode public trust and make it harder for good cops to do their jobs.

But what if there was a computer program that could identify problem officers BEFORE an incident takes place? What if that same program could even identify what makes an otherwise good officer go bad and allow the police department to predict and prevent misconduct?

New gates at the Charlotte airport, gear for CMPD and streetcars for the Gold Line are on the agenda at Monday's city council meeting. The council will also vote on a small step to help lure the NBA All-Star game back in 2019.

David Boraks / WFAE

  The recent fatal police shootings of African-American men and the killing of five Dallas police officers have revived discussions aimed at easing tensions between CMPD officers and those Charlotte residents who are wary of them.  At a forum hosted by the NAACP in uptown last night, several hundred people questioned and criticized CMPD. There was also some praise.