Kerr Putney

Tom Bullock

Every Wednesday the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department holds a regular briefing with the media at its uptown headquarters. But this Wednesday, the media was invited to the CMPD’s Police Training academy to witness and be a part of an exercise involving police use of force.

Chief Kerr Putney says it’s the first of many trainings the media will be invited to. Reporters were ushered into a room that looked similar to a high school wrestling room, blue mats hung on the wall and in bold lettering "Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Training Academy."

Lisa Worf / WFAE

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney speaks with a lot of bluntness these days. Take this example from a Charlotte Talks Public Conversation this summer. He addressed the lack of economic opportunity and other social challenges that disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods.

“I’m not going to say Kumbaya and let’s overcome everything. What I’m going to say is if you have financial means, support the work that needs to be done that changes these outcomes, and then you get out of the way and shut your mouth. And then let those of us who are willing to change outcomes, do so," Putney said at the July 12 event.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

A Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle after he killed a pedestrian while responding to a call on Morehead Street last weekend. 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE-FM

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney is wary of a bill that would relax restrictions on carrying concealed handguns in North Carolina. Speaking to reporters at a town hall Saturday, Putney said North Carolinians did not need more laws that could lead to more shootings by irresponsible gun owners.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE-FM

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on Saturday held her first town hall since taking office in Dec. 2015, promoting a wide range of city initiatives including youth programs, community policing, and affordable housing.

www.liberty.edu

The Charlotte police officer who fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott last week has a short personal history with CMPD but a long family one. WFAE's Michael Tomsic has been researching officer Brentley Vinson, who, like Scott, is African-American. He joined Mark Rumsey to discuss what we know.

Updated 7 p.m.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police have released dashboard and body camera videos and other evidence from last Tuesday’s shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Chief Kerr Putney told reporters Saturday afternoon he determined that releasing the videos now won’t hurt investigations of the incident by CMPD and the State Bureau of Investigation.

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.  

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Wednesday, the city council’s safety committee will discuss whether high-crime areas in Charlotte should be off-limits to those who commit crimes in them. Committee members will decide if the issue makes it to the full council.

Tom Bullock / WFAE News

Charlotte is facing a shortage of cops. That was the simple message CMPD Chief Kerr Putney brought to the city council Monday night.

Last year there were 42 murders in Charlotte, a 30 year low. This year, Chief Putney says violent crime across the city has jumped by 17.5 percent. He told the council he was particularly concerned "about the 47 percent increase" in homicides. The dramatic increase doesn't stop there. "We also want to talk about home invasion robberies which have increased by almost 50 percent."

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