Friday, October 11, 2019

Kaepernick The Dream Fades - Panthers Say No

Yesterday with the Carolina Panthers heading across the pond and one time star quarterback Cam Newton noticeably taking a flight to parts unknown, an odd press release surfaced. 


Those are the words atop a two-page document entitled “Facts to Address the False Narratives Regarding Colin Kaepernick." His agent, Jeff Nalley, and PR director, Jasmine Windham, released it Thursday. 

“There have been so many false narratives in the media regarding Colin,’’ the document reads. “We believe it is important to set the record straight, again. Nothing below is open for interpretation or debate, it’s the truth and nothing else.’’ 

In case you missed it here is the Press Release: 

Kaepernick's brother from another mother Carolina Panther Eric Reid also added to the fray by tweeting the following:

Obviously Kaepernick isn't going to be added to the Panthers roster or it would have already happened. I'd guess the team has enough to worry about with Newton's vegan diet and ever expanding wardrobe issues, so it looks like Cam's season is over if not his football career. 

Least we forget Carolina fans, even desperate for a win Carolina fans would not stand with someone who doesn't. As much as Kaepernick would like to re-frame his protest it will always be about the flag. A worthy cause but the protest was poorly thought out and executed. 

Cedar's Take: Kaepernick is healthy more so than Cam Newton, though work outs can't replicate real games. Maybe the former NFL Quarterback just needs some advice? 

In the late 70's a kid on a bike asked a gas station owner for a job. The owner was named Hubert Blanton and he owned a number of Gulf Service Stations including the one at the corner of Archdale Drive and South Blvd. in Charlotte. Blanton told the kid "get a hair cut and I'll hire you". 

So the kid rode his bike across the street, got a regular hair cut much to the surprise of the shopping center barber and a 1/2 dozen onlookers, ending a nearly five year avoidance of barber shops. A new look and seven inches of hair lighter, he returned to the gas station. 

Blanton chuckled with "well I'll be dammed" and hired the kid on the spot. A job he'd work until he was 16.

Sometimes being good at something isn't enough, sometimes you just have to suck it up and toss your "principles" (in this case the right of free expression) to the curb. 

Maybe Kaepernick just needs to cut his hair. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles CREW Lunchon Re-Cap

Yesterday (Tuesday October 8, 2019) Charlotte's Mayor Vi Lyles addressed the CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) October luncheon, which was held at the Charlotte Country Club.

The club, which is located in what was once one of Charlotte's thriving upper middle class suburbs, has sadly become "da hood" in recent years but the club and golf course somehow survive. 

You would think, given Charlotte's recent surge of violent crime, including the murder last week of prominent businessman Dr. John Holaday, that public safety would the key topic for Mayor Lyles yet she chose to stick to her agenda of social welfare, free housing and racial equality.

From the comfort of a high back chair and coffee table instead of a podium at Charlotte Country Club mayor Lyles took the opportunity to tell her heartbreaking story of how her father, a World War II veteran was refused a student loan because of the color of his skin.  

As she tells the story soon after his return from the war he applied for a student loan but was told explicitly those loans are for white folks only. 

The story of struggles in "Jim Crow" era have captivated liberals since Barack Obama took office. The affects of Jim Crow are of course just a memory except for those who continue to use slavery and racism as tool to control their constituents.

Interesting to note that Crew Charlotte has nearly 350 members all but a tiny handful are white highly educated professional women.

Vi Liles's social agenda as has consumed her job as Charlotte's mayor and she remains tone deaf to the current crime wave.

You would think that when addressing a group of commercial real estate women, women who are according to the Bureau of Justice statistics are twice is likely to be robbed than men, there would be some even small mention of crime and safety. The vast majority of CREW members work uptown many work late into the night. 

Lyle's made only a passing reference to CMPD Chief Kerr Putney's pending retirement, but no mention whatsoever of Charlotte spiraling out of control crime rate 

The fact that women are more likely to be victims of violent crime including domestic violence seems to be lost on Vi Lyles. While it is understandable she wanted to talk about her social agenda of affordable housing her only mention of crime was that kids were  making "bad choices" she framed as being directly related to the fact they have nothing better to do.

Mayor Lyles took only a couple pre arranged questions read to her on 3x5 index cards and three "staged" questions from the audience. There were no questions about property revaluation, traffic or crime.   

Most members of CREW seemed to find the speaker about as memorable as the "cheaper chicken" entrée.

Is York County The Answer To Charlotte's Crime Problem?

Fredrick Antwan Dickson was living the dream in Mecklenburg County, thieving and robbing at will. He was in and out of Mecklenburg County Sherriff Garry McFadden's "youth hostel" over-night resident program, never locked up for more than a few days at a time, then always released back on the streets of Charlotte to continue his life of crime.

Thanks to a liberal Sheriff, Courts, Police and Elected Officials like Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, it was only a matter of time until Dickson became either one more young black male charged with murder, or another greasy spot on a street that Charlotte Fire had to hose down.

Via: Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
Nine reported arrests in Charlotte since his 16th birthday, six arrests in 2019 alone.

Then Dickson made a simple geographical error, he unknowingly wandered into York County, South Carolina.

It's not hard to do, make a wrong turn in the Steele Creek neighborhood or drive down Carowinds Blvd and suddenly you are in South Carolina which plays by a whole different set of rules.

Arrested by CMPD on the 16th of August on unrelated charges Dickson was on his way out the door when SC issued a Governor's Warrant for his extradition to York County. He was held until the 23rd of August 2019 when he was released to York County deputies. 

At 6:50 p.m. on the 23rd of August 2019, Dickson's life of crime came to a sudden and abrupt stop when he was booked into the York County jail.

His arrest, thanks to a sharp eyed York County Sheriff's Deputy and a couple of security cameras and countless finger prints left at a crime scene.

Courtesy of York County Sheriff's Office
And because of York County's no nonsense stand on crime, Dickson's geospatial error will keep him locked up until he can raise the $143,000.00 bond or his court date which will be sometime in 2021 given the case backlog in South Carolina.

As of October 9, 2019 Dickson remains a "resident" of the York County Jail.

Dickson is facing the following 27 charges:

1 Grand Larceny>$2,000<$10,000

2 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

3 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

4 Petit Larceny <$2,000

5 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

6 Burglary-First Degree

7 Grand Larceny>$2,000<$10,000

8 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

9 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

10 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

11 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

12 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks,pumps,where Fuel,lubicants Stored

13 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

14 Grand Larceny>$2,000<$10,000

15 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

16 Grand Larceny>$2,000<$10,000

17 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored County Sheriff's Office

18 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

19 Petit Larceny <$2,000 York County Sheriff's Office

20 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

21 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

22 Petit Larceny <$2,000.00

23 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

24 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

25 Larceny/breaking Into Motor Vehicle Of Tanks, Pumps, where Fuel, Lubicants Stored

26 Petit Larceny <$2,000.00

27 Criminal Conspiracy

Here's the CP bonus: This is just one arrest, but there are enough charges here to lock Dickson up for 15 years if a judge decided to boxcar the sentences.

So the question is, does this make York County Charlotte's answer to our "out of control" crime problem? Do we need to rely on other jurisdictions to enforce our laws and deal with crime from a common sense stand point? Hugs and barbershop schools are not going to rehabilitate thugs like Dickson. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

CMPD Chief Putney to "Retire" and "Hire Back"

According to countless sources Kerr Putney, the Chief of Police for CMPD, is set to retire at the end of 2019 before re-joining the department to prepare for the Republican National Convention in 2020. 

In a letter, Charlotte City Manager Marcus D. Jones announced Monday that Putney will retire at the end of 2019 and return in the spring to continue his work around community policing. 

Putney will officially retire Jan. 1, 2020, and following a two-month hiatus, resume his role as police chief in March. 

An interim chief will serve during Putney’s short hiatus. Jones says Putney will step down from the role following the Republican National Convention (RNC) and a permanent replacement will be named at that time. 

A formal public announcement from Putney is expected by the end of the week. Jones said transition plans are set to be addressed on Wednesday. 

In a video on YouTube Putney addressed the police department about his upcoming retirement. “Come September 1, I’m going to really transition, truly retire and move on to the next chapter,” Putney said. “It’s humbling to come to the last chapter, the last year of my service here, but I couldn’t be more proud of the work you’re doing. This community appreciates that work, they depend on that work. Keep it up.” 

Cedar's Take: The ability to shake down taxpayers and the lengths to which command will go is astounding. Meanwhile rank and file earn a wage that is far from acceptable, are routinely condemned by members of Charlotte City Council and extremist groups. 

The boots on the street are under pressure to hug thugs and "deescalate" confrontation with violent offenders all the while the Meck Da, County Sheriff and Jurists within the courts are hell bent on freeing the most violent of criminals back on to Charlotte's streets. 

How much worse could it get?

Cedar Update October 8 2200 hours:

Not so fast Chief! Apparently and even though this has been pretty common practice over the last several years, it seems this too good to be true plan may be just that. By the rules you really have to plan to retire. Putney's mistake was saying "I'll be back". The fleecing of taxpayers thwarted? Stay tuned!

Cedar Update October 10 0700 hours:

Seems the other shoe has fallen. Kerr Putney will postpone his retirement until a later date. This retire and hire back scheme has been going on at CMPD for years. Of course only a handful of "selected" employees have been offered the magical retirement program that allows you to "double dip".

The trouble is how bad is the mess and who's going to sort it out? The state employees retirement program is the victim, at question is does the fraud cross the line into criminal conduct or just a simple misunderstanding?

Absolute fact is CMPD's highest ranking member was getting bad advice.   

Saturday, October 5, 2019

BREAKING: Raheem Shacklette Charged With Murder in 74 Year Old CEO John Holaday's Death

Rahmeen Shacklette via MCSO

Sources tell CP that Mr. John Holaday passed away late Friday night or early Saturday morning as a result of gun shot wounds suffered during a shooting in Uptown Charlotte on Monday of this week. 

Late this morning 16 year old Raheem Shacklette was charged with murder in addition to other previous charges associated with the Monday afternoon September 30, 2019 shooting. He remains in the custody of Mecklenburg County Sheriff.

Charlotte Fire Tying To Save The Life of Dr. Holaday
Caution this news has not be confirmed by CP via CMPD or Mr. Holaday's family. 

Cedar Update: Saturday October 5, 2019 2:05:

CP has learned that DisposeRX has confirmed the death of Mr. Holaday. 

Cedar Update:

Shacklette will return to court on Friday October 11, 2019 for additional motions. He remains behind bars for his "bad decision". 

Friday, October 4, 2019

Charlotte's Street Crime and Gun Play Continues Mayor Lyles Silent

Wednesday night four teenage thugs thought shooting up a neighborhood in a stolen car would be fun.

Now they are facing multiple charges after crashing a stolen Toyota Rav4 while fleeing from CMPD Officers who responded to the shots fired calls.

The incident began around 10 p.m. when CMPD 911 Operators received several call regarding several gunshots in the Woodbridge neighborhood near Yateswood Drive.

When Officers arrived, they found three vehicles that had been shot into and nearly 20 shell casings from various calibers.

A short time later, the suspect vehicle was spotted and CMPD Officers initiated a traffic stop. When the suspects failed to stop Officers gave chase. 

The near 7-mile chase ended when the Toyota collided with a GMC Yukon near the intersection of Providence Road and Fairview Road. Three of the four suspects attempted to run and were quickly taken into custody.

A fourth suspect eluded police until just after midnight but gave up after being tracked by a CMPD K9 team.

The Toyota Rav4 had been stolen from a dealership on Sept. 9, 2019. Three stolen firearms were located and seized from the vehicle.

The four suspects charged are:

Michael Anthony Thomas, 19, who was the driver of the Toyota, is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle, flee to elude a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm within city limits, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer and three counts of damage to property.

Thomas will appear in court Friday afternoon October 4, 2019 on the five misdemeanor and two felony charges.

David Wayne Burns, 19, has been charged with possession of stolen property, discharging a firearm within city limits, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer and three counts of damage to property. Burns has prior charges in Mecklenburg County for murder, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon.

Tyliek Alex Stevenson, 18, has been charged with discharging a firearm within city limits, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer and three counts of damage to property. Stevenson has a prior charges in Mecklenburg County for shooting into occupied property.

Stevenson will appear in court December 9, 2019 on the five misdemeanor charges. He was released yesterday on an unsecured bond.

Isaiah Richardson, 19, has been charged with discharging a firearm within city limits, resist/delay/obstruct a public officer and three counts of damage to property. Richardson has prior charges in Mecklenburg County for theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a minor.

Richardson will appear in court Friday afternoon October 4, 2019 on the five misdemeanor charges.

Cedar Update: Richardson was released with a EMD at 3:00 PM Monday October 7, 2019. 
CMPD Would later down play the events and the crimes as routine. 

"No one was located shot, there were no injuries as a result of the motor vehicle collision, and due to the collaborative efforts from at least six CMPD division and support from CMPD’s Canine Unit, this violent encounter was de-escalated and lead to the apprehension of all four suspects". 

Cedar's Take:

What is troubling is the routine nature of the events. Bookended by two broad daylight homicides Uptown and in South Charlotte, our Mayor Vi Lyles spent her week having lunch and mimosas with Oprah Winfrey and pandering to the liberal nut birds who think crime like this is just part of big city life.

Make no mistake these are violent offenders with countless priors for violent crimes who have already used their "second chance" yet they will be released back on the street is short order to continue their reign of terror.

Given their available criminal records imagine the extent of their court protected juvenile records.

The Meck DA embarrassingly soft on crime, these suspects should not be released and they should be charged to the fullest extent possible. 

Until Charlotte citizens speak up these thugs will rule our streets and as long as Mayor Vi Lyles and CMPD believe this is the new normal and this sort of crime is to be tolerated as just part of being a big city we are taking our chances venturing out of our homes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

CMPD Declares Uptown Charlotte Safe

On Tuesday Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department PIO Captain Julie Barry told reporters that Uptown is "still a safe place", even after a shooting that occurred during the middle of the afternoon on Monday.

74 year old John Holaday, the CEO of DisposeRX, a Sanford, North Carolina, company that sells materials to dissolve unused prescription drugs, was shot and critically injured around 3:55 pm Monday. 

Mr. Holaday was walking by the Epicentre when CMPD says a fight broke out. Officers arrested 16-year-old Raheem Shacklette from Decatur,Georgia and (apparently related) Hazeem Shacklette who has a Charlotte address as the suspects in the shooting.

Raheem has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a stolen firearm. Hazeem is charged with Public Afray.

During yesterday's press conference CMPD Captain Julie Barry said "questions" have surfaced regarding the safety of the center city. 

Barry said multiple times that uptown is safe. "This is not about location," Barry said. 

"Charlotte is facing the same struggles that any large metropolitan city is facing right now when young people are making these really bad decisions. So it’s not the location it’s just these people who are making bad decisions trying to settle a verbal argument or a small physical argument with gun fire." 

Cedar's Take: I guess perception is the reality. In the past 3 months there have been more than 100 crimes against persons in the Uptown area (Center City) inside 277/77 Loop. Most are assaults followed by robberies. Frankly speaking I've got no interest in being mugged or robbed, having my car stolen or broken into. I don't really like carrying a gun, but I won't leave John Wayne in the car and I get tired of wearing a sport coat to dinner and so I just avoid uptown.

Captain Barry says "Charlotte is facing the same struggles as any large metropolitan city". Well that sort of depends.

Chicago has suffered 300 plus murders so far this year. I say plus because there are some bodies they apparently haven't yet found.

But San Diego year to date homicide number is 29, Boston 31, Houston 33, Tampa 19.

Charlotte stands at 81 give or take since at least two are pending classification. To find a crime number close to Charlotte you have to look to Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville is at 95 year to date. While Jacksonville has nearly the same population as Charlotte the patrol area of Jacksonville is nearly 3 times that of Charlotte. Truth is Jacksonville has been a shithole like Detroit, Baltimore and St. Louis for years.

So the question is are we going to be complacent when our Police Department says "well all the other kids do it"?  So because "other" cities have the same issues with young thugs with stolen guns we should be OK?

Are voters really ok with Vi Lyles silence on Charlotte's rapidly increasing homicide rate? Is Charlotte City Council's soft on crime pandering to the Liberal African American voter the only way they can be reelected? 

Crime in Charlotte, not just murders is out of control in part because CMPD is down by 200 Officers, and that number is rumored to hit 300 by year end. Accordingly there is zero traffic law enforcement and lawlessness of any kind is the seeds from which more violent crime grows.

CMPD says as of Thursday morning Holaday remains in critical condition. Prayers for his full recovery. Both Raheem and Hazeem Shacklette remain as guests of Garry McFadden. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

Atomic Blonde - Daisy Katlyn Conner

At some point in your life you've likely decided things just weren't working out the way you planned. At that point you started asking yourself what am I doing wrong? Wrong job, wrong boyfriend, wrong girlfriend, wrong life choices. 

Say hello to Miss Daisy Conner who maybe, should be asking the same questions after being arrested by MCSO on warrants for Extortion, Harassing Phone calls and Cyberstalking. She remains a "guest" of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff on a $15,000.00 Bond.

Photo Courtesy MCSO 9-3-2019 

Seems this is not Miss Conner's first rodeo. Daisy who is just 19 has priors in Carteret County for Felony B&E, where some judge boxcar'd her convictions at the age of 16 so she could serve 6 months before being paroled. Only to have her parole revoked shortly thereafter and found herself at NCCI for Women, a total of 2 years 7 months. 

She was released just March last year.

Cedar's Take: WTF?   

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

FOP National President Pat Yoe Seeks Input From CMPD Officers

It should come as no surprise that the liberal agenda, so desperate to unseat Donald Trump continues to work towards attracting votes from anyone including illegals and violent felons.  
Both New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Ron Emanuel and former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh have all taken a very strong anti-police stance.

The problem is not just a big city issue.
Charlotte Mecklenburg FOP Lodge #9 this week sent an email asking for input from Charlotte Officers that could be provided to the national board and in particular the president of FOP National Pat Yoes.

President Yoes request as follows: 

I am seeking your feedback on the items listed below. 

We have a growing concern about state and local appointed and elected officials impeding the enforcement of law and eroding the ability of law enforcement officers to keep their communities safe. 

The problem areas include, but are not limited to, the following: 

Refusal to prosecute statutes not to their liking.

Criticizing law enforcement officers in the media over individual incidents or confrontations without regard for the facts or the status of ongoing investigations. 

Creating a climate of fear in police management nationwide which makes them less willing to defend and support the officers they’re supposed to be leading and commanding. 

The consequences of these activities include: 

A reduction in public safety in growing areas in the U.S.

Erosion of respect for and cooperation with police officers nationwide - increased difficulty in police recruiting, higher attrition rates, and earlier retirement of seasoned officers.

I strongly believe that we need to sit down and compare experiences in this area with the goal of developing counter strategies to get the public behind us, curb the anti-police rhetoric, and reestablish respect for the rule of law. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

CMPD FOP Raises Concerns About CMS Book Study Selection "All American Boys"

The following letter was sent via email to all CMPD FOP Lodge members. The letter raises concerns about a reading selection included in a list of apparently CMS approved books for middle school students.

Early this week Lodge 9 learned of a book study Bailey Middle School 8th grade class had to participate in.

The book in question is titled All American Boys. The plot focuses on two high school students, “Rashad, [a black student] who is wrongfully accused of shoplifting and beaten by a local police officer, and Quinn, a white bystander who sees the beating and initially pretends he didn’t because of his close relationship to the police officer.”

Once we heard of this, the board and PIO- Kopp started making phone calls and writing letters to express our concerns with the book choice.

The letter read:

Dr. Matthew Hayes:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police is requesting your immediate review and intervention of an 8th grade book study at Bailey Middle School.

The book in question is titled All American Boys.

The plot focuses on two high school students, “Rashad, [a black student] who is wrongfully accused of shoplifting and beaten by a local police officer, and Quinn, a white bystander who sees the beating and initially pretends he didn’t because of his close relationship to the police officer.” This book contains such explicit language in the first two chapters that the students will be skipping over this portion. The Bailey Middle School 8th Grade ELA Team told parents their child should purchase their own book on Amazon, supporting the cause. They plan to begin this book study in October.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP absolutely condemns this book study. We agree it is important for students to discuss current social topics in order to develop their educational growth. However, it is reckless on their part to promote a book which highlights police brutality. The City of Charlotte experienced riots and civil unrest based on a justified use of force against an uncooperative armed suspect. Our officers were physically assaulted with rocks and bottles, some were even victims of attempted murder by protesters. Next week will mark the three-year anniversary of this event. We have worked extremely hard to rebuild this community’s relationship with police officers. This relationship starts with children at an early age to see police officers as a source of safety and not a cause of social injustice they can’t trust.

There are many social topics the school could have selected to achieve the same positive message, such as bullying or suicide awareness. Principal Chad Thomas informed us that no other topics or books were proposed prior to selecting this book. There are a number of great, bestselling adult fiction novels about teachers sexually assaulting students, a topic which is more frequent within CMS than police brutality is within Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

We are confident you can provide your leadership to these students’ education without damaging the image of law enforcement professionals in this community. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP looks forward to your response in this matter.

Thank you for your time and dedication to our youth.

Dr. Hayes cancelled the book study. He wanted us to express to the FOP, this book study was never intended to upset the law enforcement community. He immediately cancelled the book study after being able to see the issue through the eyes of a police officer.

The board learned the book was actually selected from the CMS approved book list. It has been used before in CMS schools (he did not know exactly which schools have used it). In order to avoid a game of whack-a-mole from school to school, we are looking to pursue the CMS review process to have this book added to the ban list for all schools.

After Dr. Hayes decision was made, CMS wrote the following:

Reading assignments for CMS students are designed to inspire thinking, create self-awareness, and understanding, all in an educational backdrop. Reading assignments spark conversations , dialogue and discussions regarding real life instances and circumstances which can promote understanding and positive behavior. The school did not receive any concerns from 8th grade parents who received communication about the assignment nor is the book on any ban list. Bailey Middle has invited officers to be a part of the conversation and looks forward to shared dialogue.

The school did receive three parent complaints, per Principal Thomas as of yesterday afternoon. The letter was sent to parents without any form of permission slip or signature needed to verify the parents even knew about the book study. The SRO at the school has an 8th grader there, and he did not know about it. Bailey Middle never invited officers to be a part of the conversation, per Cornelius Police and CMS Police.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11, 2001 One Man's Recollection

Re- Posted From September 11, 2015:

There are things that tie this nation together, Pearl Harbor, Challenger, and 9/11 as it has come to be known. But now 14 years on, many people not directly affected by the great loss of life or living in New York at the time may have forgotten the hours immediately after the first plane roared into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Certainly anyone over the age of 25 understands what happened that day, but still only a small number of Americans know what New York was like during the attack and in the first hours after.

CP was thankfully not in New York on September 11th having left the city two days prior. I watched the second plane impact the South Tower live on television. The rest of the day is a distant memory, except for the silence in the air that afternoon. Unknown to me one of my colleagues a fellow investment professional was at ground zero.

His story arrived 2 days later via fax at my office. The following images are of that fax that I've kept in my top desk drawer for the last 14 years. Today I'm sharing one man's story unedited (note you will have to click on each image to enlarge):

Cedar's Take: I'm still stunned at what happened that crystal clear Carolina morning in September and while I lost no friends or family in the attack the pain is just as if I had. 

My grandfather a Navy vet never hated the German's but he despised the "Japs". I never understood why until 9/11. It takes a pretty horrific event to make an entire group of people the most hated and despised of the world's population. Muslims have unfortunately accomplished just that. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Judge Khalif Rhodes Mastermind Behind Charlotte's NO BAIL FAIL Resigns

Friday Morning local newsiers learned of a impromptu presser where Mecklenburg County Chief Magistrate was going to make an announcement. Not surprisingly he announced his already announced resignation. 

Just a couple of months ago Khalif Rhodes was named to Charlotte's 40 under 40 list.  Even then  Rhodes was under increasing pressure to step down as his NO BAIL FAIL policy continued to spread crime and death on the streets of Charlotte. 

Rhodes is The Chief Magistrate of the 26th Judicial District in Mecklenburg County, a position that gave him the authority to set bail guidelines that all Mecklenburg County Magistrates follow. Keep in mind that Rhodes served not an elected official rather in an appointed position.

Behind doors of Mecklenburg County Court System is a club of quid pro quo deals, jobs lobbied for and promises kept. Rhodes was no exception. Rhodes had run for a judgeship before and was soundly defeater by more conservative jurists. 

North Carolina's antiqued judicial system is filled with endless back scratching and back stabling.

Being appointed Chief Magistrate gave Rhode a chance to appease member of his own democratic party and the black political caucus which quickly rewarded his innovative bail program with the chairmanship.

The trouble is Rhodes policy freed more than 1000 of violent offenders many who continued their reign of crime and a few who committed homicides. 

Rhodes  announced his resignation on Friday, citing that he planned to join the private sector. Khalif Rhodes had served as a magistrate in the court system since 2015 and was named the Chief Magistrate in 2017. 

In recent months, the local court system has been under public scrutiny following repeat offenses involving criminals who had been released on bail from custody. Rhodes defended his position in the press conference, however, noting that there were other factors not related to a person’s release status which have contributed to a rise in violent crime. 

Defending the release of certain offenders, Rhodes explained how, ‘we have a decision-making framework (when it comes to who gets released)’ and discussed how that framework considered the risk of each offender of not returning to court before any decision was made. 

In short Rhodes dismissed any notion that his departure was related to the recent cascade of violence that has swept across Charlotte and the surrounds areas.

In closing, Rhodes thanked the District Attorney, Sheriff McFadden and CMPD Chief Putney for their insights and discussions with him during his tenure.

Cedar's Take:

Keep in mind that the cash bail system has been under fire for years, as being racially unjust. 

The "NO BAIL FAIL" blame doesn't just stop with Rhodes, county and city elected officials and the 6th district Chief Judge all share the blame. Like it or not this is a race issue. An over reach to correct the perceived years of injustice as the pendulum swings from lock them all up to free them all. The intent was clear to gain some form of reparations could not have been more evident.

With 77 Homicides in Charlotte this year, 53 of which there has been an arrest, 33 of those arrested had priors for weapons charges many of them for shooting someone or at an occupied car or home. All of those 33 where African Americans. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Murder of Kimberly Annette Kohne

Few things have trpubled me like the murder of Kimberly Kohne.

Kimberly Kohne was a PDQ Pizza delivery driver in Matthews who just was just a month shy of her 21st birthday, when she was shot and killed for tailgating. PDQ was a pizza delivery business a predecessor to what is now Domionos in Matthews.

Sadly the night of her murder I had driven past Kohne and her assilant just momnets before she was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Matthews, North Carolina Post Office. 

My black Mercedes 300 D was one of a dozen tips that was turned up during the following investigation. I was targeted by police who were surprised when I called to say I might know something about the murder of Kim Kohne. The Matthews cops quickly realized I was a better witness than a suspect. I didn't see the killer shoot her or even realize he had a gun. I just saw a jerk raging on some pizza delivery girl in a Honda Prelude.

I would spend the better part of 2 hours with Matthews Police Sgt. Sutton and a Charlotte homicide detective trying to remember the car the shooter was driving. I was little help. We even drove to a Nissan dealer on Independence Blvd in hopes I could recall the car or even the color. The more I thought about the car the more uncertian I was that it was even a Nissan. I was in fact a terrible witness. Worse I was a terrible person for not recognizing what was happening or even slowing down. 

From the Charlotte Observer:

Police say a man who surrendered to authorities told them he waved over Matthews pizza driver Kimberly Annette Kohne, stood in front of her car and waved his .357 Magnum. 

Police say he told them the gun fired accidentally, shooting her in the face.

``He didn't have any idea who she was,' said Matthews police Sgt. B.L. Sutton. 

``He didn't even know if she was a man or a woman."

Robert Calvin Craig Jr., 27, turned himself in to police Monday. 

He is charged with murder in the death of Kohne and is in the Mecklenburg County Jail under a suicide watch. 

Family members say Craig, an unemployed construction worker, surrendered two days after his mother died of cancer. They described him as a devoted son who sat by her bedside for most of a year. ``This is so sad,' said his aunt, Charlotte Kriete. ``It just leaves me with an empty feeling.' 

But family members also say he had a drug and alcohol problem. And his ex-wife says he had a violent temper - that he beat her and once pointed a loaded gun in her face. 

She filed assault charges against him twice, but both times dropped them. ``It's senseless and I hate that it had to come to this for someone to realize how violent this man is,' said Anita Craig, 24, who divorced Craig last July. 

Craig cried Monday when he turned himself in to Matthews police. At first, he claimed someone else in the car killed Kohne, police said. Later he changed his story, Sutton said. Craig told police that he and his two sons, ages 7 and 5, were riding in the back seat of a white Nissan Maxima Feb. 2 at about 8 p.m. 

A female friend was driving the car, with her boyfriend sitting beside her. Police declined to identify the couple. 

Police believe this is what happened: At about 8 p.m., the car was heading west on Old Monroe Road from Union County toward Matthews when Kohne's Honda Prelude tried to pass. Kohne was returning from her last pizza delivery of the night. Unable to pass because of an oncoming car, she pulled in behind the Nissan. 

Craig told police he was drunk and became angry because he thought she was tailgating. 

The driver of the Nissan turned right into the parking lot of the Matthews Post Office to let Kohne's car pass. But Craig motioned for Kohne to follow, which she did, pulling in behind the Nissan. 

After the shot was fired, Craig looked in the driver's side window. He jumped back in the Maxima and ordered the driver to flee. 

Craig told investigators that he didn't realize anyone had been killed until reading an article in the next day's Charlotte Observer. 

Craig's arrest brought some peace to some of Kohne's family and friends. ``I'm glad that there is a little bit of finality to it. 

I am glad that they found the killer,' said Joe Todd, a PDQ pizza restaurant manager who was to marry Kohne Oct. 5. 

`It almost makes it more tragic that it was just a random-type thing.'

Cedar Follow-Up:

Nearly two weeks after the shooting Craig turned himself in. 

Robert Calvin Craig pled guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and was given a life sentence on July 19, 1991. After serving 20 years he was paroled on August 2, 2011 under the "Fair Felons" act, and ordered to begin a period of indefinate parole. He was released from parole on July 31, 2016. 

Since that cold February night I've made a point of being more aware, realizing that just noticing things and being alert is not enough. I could have saved Ms. Kohne's life had I been just a little more alert or aware.

Kimberly Annette Kohne was born March 4, 1970 in Calhoun Alabama, she died alone on a cold winter night in 1991 and I've been troubled by her murder all these years. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

David Wooten - Idiot Among Us Kills 3 People In Charlotte

Last Friday night David Robin Wooten apparently decided that riding his Yamaha motorcycle at more than 100 miles an hour on Charlotte's Wilkinson Boulevard would be a good idea.

In the darkness Wooten and his Yamaha sport bike screamed west bound at more than three times the 45 mph speed limit. At the same time heading in the opposite direction were a young couple Dylan Briggs 22 and Jasmine Belush 21. 

The couple where out with their friends, Dylan driving Jamine's car when they found themselves in a unfamiliar surroundings, the voice on Jasmine's iPhone likely keep urging to make a U-turn as WAZE often does in a rather insistent manner. For whatever reason Dylan Briggs decided to make a U-turn near Alleghany Street.

Watching several cars pass, Briggs may have seen the motorcycle approaching but didn't realize that Wooten was traveling at an estimated 183.33 feet per second. More than 125 miles per hour.

Wooten's motorcycle struck the right rear passenger door of Jamine's car. Despite wearing helmet he was killed instantly when his head impacted the roof and D-pillar. His motorcycle would continue through the car killing passengers Benjamin Vasques 24, Hanna Brotherton, 22 and Claudia Gray, 27

CMPD Officers arriving on the scene were confronted with a horrific accident and assumed that there was a second car or truck fleeing the area. The unrecognizable carnage provided few clues, the impact was so violent it took officer several minutes just to understand what had happened to the car.

Leann Gray was sitting in the against the door was killed instantly. The public information officer for Midland Fire and Rescue was only 27, an EMT and public information officer with the Midland Fire Department. She was mother to an 8-year old son.

Leann Gray
Hanna Brotherton, was also killed instantly as the motorcycle continued through the car. She was born in Concord and graduated from Jesse C. Carson High School, was the daughter of Michael Wayne Brotherton and Trena Marcum Brotherton.

Hanna Brotherton
After graduating from high school Hanna received her associate degree from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and continued into the orthodontics program at Lake Norman Dental Assisting School. She was currently attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Benjamin Vasquez a soldier in the United States Army, was seated next to Brotherton, had just returned from a deployment in Kuwait.

US Army Pvt. Benjamin Vasquez
Vasquez survived for a short time but was deceased by the time first responders arrived.

Only inches separated Briggs and Belush from death, somehow they managed to escape with only minor injuries. They were both taken to CMC Main treated and released.

Cedar's Take: It is impossible to grasp that only 15 seconds either side of the impact time and this accident this would not have happened. In the long chain of events that led up to this accident, that any small deviation, light change or hesitation that could have happened to change the time line by just 15 seconds would have avoided this tragedy. 

But the true cause of this accident is nothing short of massive stupidity. David Wooten died an moron and a murder. Beyond reckless and self centric Wooten is a symptom of lawless behavior of a group of idiots who believe the rules apply only to other people.

You will hear people who think it wasn't all his fault that the driver Briggs is equally at fault for not seeing the Yamaha sport bike traveling the distance of one football field every 1.2 seconds. Yet Wilkinson as most city streets does not have the line of sight or grade of an interstate highway the street has a 45 mph speed limit for a reason, safety. 

Two days after the accident Olivia Carper in Huntersville decided Wooten needed a "Go Fund Me" Memorial page. Equally disturbing there is no mention of 3 people Wooten murdered.