Monday, February 18, 2019

An Open Letter To CMPD - 28 Year CMPD Officer's Exit Interview

If you are like Cedar, life means changes and if you've lived in Charlotte all your life some changes are great Panthers, Hornets, Uptown Nightlife and some disheartening, tax and spend liberals running our City/County government with a bazaar social agenda mission and a once great Police Department that has some serious morale issues that go far beyond pay scale of rank and file boots on the street. 

So it is not surprising that one now retired CMPD Officer would send this letter to Cedar Posts. The letter is unedited since my grammar and punctuation skill make copy editors cringe, I'm not about to make changes, yet I my need to do so for clarity in the future, but it will be so noted.

I'd really like to see some serious feed back. While these are things I've know over the years I also think the public needs to hear more specifics from officers current and retired.   

THE LETTER:

Since Human Resources doesn’t give retirees an exit interview, this is my exit interview. I realize there have been a lot of retirees over the last few years but these seasoned officers have a wealth of knowledge and they will be honest about issues within the department and how to make things better. Several people have tried to convince me to not send this out but I feel I must. I have been told not to send this because I have a good reputation. Well, I am sending this because I have a good reputation. Perhaps my good reputation will make people at CMPD sit up and take notice. I feel I must be the voice of those still here suffering in silence.

Officers are unable to express their true feelings and beliefs for fear of retaliation from command staff. I am their voice. I will not be a hire back and what I have to say is from the heart.

Over the last 28 or so years, I came to love my job. Of course there were ups and downs and times when I wanted to throw in the towel but overall, I LOVED my job. I always strived to be the best I could be. And I used to love CMPD but over the past four or so years, my love for CMPD has waned. My feelings for my employer did not reflect on my work though. I am leaving CMPD on good terms and have served proudly. But CMPD has caused me some heartache.

​So here goes….To be honest, this writing was born out of the aftermath of the Officer Kerrick arrest. No matter what your opinion is of the shooting and the hasty arrest, it is a sore spot with me and many others. It is my opinion that CMPD threw Officer Kerrick under the bus. The September 2016 officer involved shooting that caused the infamous riots took months to investigate but Officer Kerrick was charged within 12 hours? A thorough investigation? No. I realize that command staff thinks we as a department have moved on, but there are many officers still upset over CMPD being so quick to judge one of its own. According to a deputy chief at a CEU training prior to the Kerrick trial, Officer Kerrick was charged due to the national anti-police sentiment.

That is no excuse to throw one of your own under the bus. Not only did this ruin Officer Kerrick’s life but it has had repercussions for his family and friends and CMPD.

Officer Kerrick should answer for his own actions not the actions of other officers across the country. Then, to top it all off, district captains go to roll calls to talk to the officers after all of command staff was shown the BWC video. Officers were told the BWC video looked bad for Officer Kerrick. Based on my investigation, most if not all, district Captains were given a script from the top and went to roll call and lied to their officers about the video even though they saw the video and knew what they were saying was a lie. This was confirmed by a Captain in that meeting. If the department was right in arresting Officer Kerrick based on the video, why did command staff have to lie? Being lied to is what causes me heartburn. What the Chief told the news media in a press conference was NOT what the video showed either. By the time everyone actually saw the video and were able to draw their own conclusions, our Chief was gone but the damage had already been done. Respected Captains and other command staff had LIED to us. But why should it surprise me? Our former chief rewarded two of his command staff with promotions after they lied for him in a demotion hearing.

Another incident that frustrates me happened a few years ago in Eastway. Several Eastway officers got into a use of force with a suspect. There were both black and white officers involved in the use of force against the black suspect. While their chain of command cleared them, internal affairs got involved. During the hearing, the white officers were told they were racist by two Majors in Internal Affairs. The comment was made without proof and based on the Majors’ own misguided feelings in my opinion.

The officers were given a week’s suspension for doing nothing wrong. You are saying, wait, how do I know they did nothing wrong? Well, after the officers appealed and WON their case a year later, a Deputy Chief actually apologized to the officers for the actions of the Majors who suspended them. The officers were told it should never have gone that far. The officers got their week of suspension back. So, yes, the officers did nothing wrong. What happened to the Majors who made the comment to begin with and gave the officers a week off without pay? Did they apologize for their comments and actions? No. Did they get a week of suspension? No. They were just moved to another unit. These officers were put through hell for a year and it ended with a great officer resigning and moving to another state to work outside law enforcement. These officers were wronged. The apology by a 3rd party was too little too late.

During my 28 years, I have seen and heard things within the department. Some truth and some rumors. Maybe these things weren’t illegal but they were unethical and immoral. Things such as changing or even deleting KBCOPS reports to protect another city employee have occurred. Stabbing others in the back to get ahead has become more frequent since 2007. Stretching the truth to get a warrant because “I know he did it but I can’t prove it” has become acceptable. Stretching the truth is the same as lying in my book. And probable cause is 51% not 40-45% for those who like to work in the gray area. Things of this nature are just wrong. We as a department need to treat people with respect and dignity yet we don’t and wonder why moral is at its lowest and no one wants to do this job.

Which brings me to my next point; I feel it is necessary to point out that if officers are selected to be in a special unit, they are not any more special than the rest of us. If they are assigned to a special unit, they can type up warrants and fill out the arrest processing paperwork just like a patrol officer. Everyone working together gets the job done quicker. The patch says Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department yet this is done on a daily basis.

Speaking of specialized investigative units, why does patrol get most of the cases to follow up? To those of us in patrol, it seems that the specialized units such as Robbery, DV, Fraud and now Youth Crimes get to pick and choose which cases they want. The rest get sent back to patrol where most of the time the overworked district detectives or in some cases patrol officers, are assigned the cases. To be honest, everyone’s overworked but you shouldn’t pass the buck. Take robbery as an example.

The centralized robbery unit is to work on commercial robberies and any robbery series.

So when Eastway got a commercial robbery with nothing taken, the robbery unit was contacted as per policy. Did they come in and work it? No. Apparently if nothing is taken in a commercial robbery then the district detectives are assigned the case. Soon afterwards, Eastway Division gets a series of three robberies (possibly more) they believe are all related across two districts but had not identified any suspects. The robbery unit was again contacted. This was a series, right? Did robbery come in and work the series? No. Eastway is told their district detectives can handle these cases as a “series” constitutes four and we had no suspects. It must be nice to pick and choose your cases. Why is it so hard for people to just do their job?

I am also very disturbed with what some younger detectives believe to be probable cause. During a robbery meeting in December 2015, the Robbery Sergeant commented that sometimes you have to get creative on the warrant affidavit to get it past the magistrate. Leave off the make of the white passenger car if one victim says it was a Toyota and another says it was a Honda. It was also stated in this meeting if the victim or witness didn’t say no in a lineup that meant yes. Hmmm….does anyone else have a problem with those comments?

Which brings me to my next gripe: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). SOP’s are general guidelines not written in stone. In police work, is anything “standard”? No. We are required to adjust, adapt and overcome. Sometimes you can follow the SOP but sometimes you adjust and you do the right thing. If your unit would get a case where a district detective is called in and you want that case, get your ass into the office. Otherwise, if I come in, I get the case. As I have said before, we are all in this together and the end goal is to put away the bad guy.

I also feel I have been persecuted for my political beliefs. I am an outspoken Republican in a city of Democrats. Why else did a 47 year old, 110 lb. female end up on field force for the DNC?

Everyone from the police attorney’s office down including my own Sergeant asked why I was selected. According to the Major over field force in 2012, the district Captains sent the names to the Academy. Yet, my Captain told me she did not send my name in to be on field force. My Captain who wore her pink bedazzled Obama 2012 shirt around the office several times and at least once during a community meeting. My Captain who had a framed “Oh Yes He Did” Obama poster in her office. But a “NOBama” sticker gets removed from an officer’s desk? Interesting….double standard?

Why yes! How is it that City Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera can say to the news media in a public forum that anyone who voted for Donald Trump is racist and should not serve on the city council yet I say something about Obama voters not voting in the next election to my friends in the office at my desk and I get a negative incident because someone not part of the conversation was offended? Why is there a double standard?

The City of Charlotte nor CMPD follows the #1 mission statement: We value our employees. CMPD needs to appreciate its employees by standing by them and being understanding to the needs of individuals and families. Moral is the lowest I have seen in 28 years. This is a low paying, thankless job with little compensation but a little compassion and appreciation go a long way. Officers are asked to forfeit more and more of their time and days off to work special events throughout the city yet our raises don’t cover the increase in health care cost.

When the City spends millions of dollars renovating Bank of America stadium, the Spectrum Center, and Bojangles Coliseum, builds a trolley, and forgives the millions of dollars owed the city by the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it is hard to accept the city’s explanation there is not enough money in the budget for employee raises.

Being on the pay plan committee, I have heard the excuses that employee raises come from a different budget “bucket” and renovations come from another budget “bucket” but when the voters tell the city they don’t want to spend money on something but the city really wants to, the city finds a way to finance it. And the FOP should not be the ones going to City Council and asking for raises; the request needs to come from the top and it needs to be done in person by the Chief.

This next gripe is minor compared to the world’s problems but when a deputy chief is assigned to a district office that is fairly new and immediately requests (and gets) his office repainted, a new Keurig machine with its own water line and a marked “Deputy Chief” parking spot under the awning in the shift change lane, it’s not right. Oh, yes, you are the deputy chief and you can do whatever you want. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Especially when officers are told there is no more overtime because of the September 2016 riots. This is not how you gain respect.

As for Command Staff, a great leader LEADS. There is a difference between a supervisor and a leader. A leader talks to and LISTENS to his or her people. There should be no fear of retaliation for speaking the truth and giving constructive criticism. A great leader can take criticism. A leader can also admit when they are wrong. This department has many supervisors but only a few true leaders.

On a closing note, the City should also pay retired officers to come back to court once they retire. It is the right thing to do. The officer did his job so it is only fair that the City pay the officer to come back to court and to put the bad guy away if the officer is needed.

Again, these are just things that I feel need to be said. If this gets command staff at CMPD talking about how to improve moral and to make this department great again, I did my job.

You can make a positive change in the department by having character and living by the Golden Rule.

Matthew 7:12 says “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” This world would be a much better place if we lived by the Golden Rule.

To be honest, this is just the tip of what I want to say, but if I say too much, you won’t bother to listen.

I have been told the people that need to hear this either don’t know what is going on or don’t care. I hope the latter is wrong for the good of CMPD.

These are just my thoughts and if I had an exit interview, I would have said the same thing. Officers are leaving in droves but it is not just about the money. It is about knowing the department has your back and appreciates you.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Charlotte City Council Member Dodged MCSO Deputies for Weeks

Once Charlotte news media picked up on the Braxton Winston divorce saga it was quickly noted and then refuted that the Charlotte City Council member may have received any preferential treatment. But what's the real story? Eight attempts at service and as of this morning the item is still open. MCSO PIO Statement from Chief Rodney Collins is below:




Cedar's Take: Its hard to imagine why a member of Charlotte City Council would make our law enforcement personnel's job more difficult than it already is. Charlotte City Councilmember Braxton Winston owes the Mecklenburg Country Sherriff's Office Deputies and taxpayers a huge apology. Its a civil issue, answer the door accept the civil summons apologize for making the deputy come to your house and thank him/her for their service. Ain't no big deal unless, your running from something else?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sheena Hopkins-Winston Wife of City Council Member Files For Divorce

Charlotte City Council At-Large Member Braxton Winston is having a heck of a month and its only the 14th, ironically Valentines Day.



Apparently during Monday's contentious discussions on illegal immigration and four year terms Mecklenburg County Sherriff Officers informed Mr. Winston that they held a civil summons that he has been avoiding since January. He was not served. The courtesy of not being served is something that few of us would ever be afforded.

One can only assume that apparently there is some sort of "quid pro guo" between sheriff McFadden and Councilmember Winston.

As of this morning the divorce papers have still not been served.

However, what appears to be a 50c Domestic Violence "No Contact Order" that was issued on January 7th was in fact served on January 13rd. The order which is similar to a 50b order was not directed at Braxton Winston. 

According to the Mecklenburg County Sherriff's Office the subject of the "No Contact" order is Winston's campaign manager Kayla Jacobs. The 50c in legalese forbids the harassing, calling, texting, emailing, messaging, approaching and so on, Sheen Watson and her children.

Earlier last week a video emerged of CMPD officers ticketing Winston's parked SUV while attending a meeting with Home Land Security and ICE officers. 


That meeting was also contentious, before Winston was even allowed inside he was being threaten with arrest.


Clearly he was "profiled" but he also did not immediately identify himself. Rather Braxton questioned the officers authority stating you bring people of color in here everyday why are you not wanting me to come in here. 

Charlotte City Council is a mess!

CP has reached out to Councilmember Winston and encouraged him to get ahead of this divorce news. CP also encouraged him to retain an attorney and deal with this issue head on while keeping his focus on his three kids and continuing to serve the citizens (all citizens) of Charlotte.

Cedar Update:

At 5:00 PM Councilmember Winston released the following statement:



Cedar's Take: One local democrat noted that "Civic Trust" is the most important aspect of being a member of our City Council, and that while charisma will win elections "Civic Trust" should be the minimum standard. 

Charlotte City Council Declares ICE Racist!

On Monday night an amazing contingent of idiots elected to Charlotte City Council every two years trimmed their toe nails and picked their teeth while Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Offices made a plea for higher wages.




The rank and file officer's message, that higher wages would help stop the exodus from the department (CMPD is down 180 Officers and will likely lose another 40 before the year is over.) was simple yet lost on council members who were more concerned with a pending vote to give themselves four year terms because running for re-election is hard work. (The effort by democrat libtards to double their own life expectancy died after weeks of hand wringing and distraction 3-7)

But while council members didn't give one F about officer pay they were totally triggered when it came to honoring Charlotte's every growing illegal immigrant population. Pay close attention Kids, on Monday Charlotte’s City Council approved a measure to allow illegal immigrants the right to serve on city council appointed boards.

I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

Motion to change from a voter registration requirement to simple residency (and allow undocumented immigrants) on city boards passed, 8-2, with Republicans Ed Driggs and Tarig Bokhari (No relation to that DB on HGTV's Flip or Flop) voting no.

The entire discussion was unpleasant and included democrats calling republicans on council racist. 

Targi went on to vent about the effort to further undermine our immigration laws with a pseudo OpEd on blog Longleaf Politics:

This week’s City Council meeting was a painful reminder for me. When leaders are more concerned with scoring points than solving problems, bad things can happen. The theme of the night, unexpectedly, was illegal immigration. The issue came up during a simple, rote agenda item to accept a state grant that helps the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reduce DWIs across our city. But the discussion quickly took a hard left turn, and became a forum to grill CMPD over their supposed involvement with federal ICE over the last week. During that time, this federal agency conducted several raids in Charlotte to arrest illegal immigrants.

Let’s put aside the fact there is no correlation whatsoever between this simple agenda item and ICE. These checkpoints are based on empirical data and scheduled up to a year in advance. ICE is not told about them, and CMPD is not made aware of ICE activities. Let’s also put aside the amazing results these checkpoints have had on our community. Over the last year, over 1,100 violations were identified in these stops, many of which resulted in taking impaired drivers off the road before lives are lost. We cannot use our police officers as pawns or props and demonize them for doing this important work just because some are afraid it might raise the “anxiety” of illegal immigrants living in Charlotte.

Cedar's Take: 

Tariq is so far out in right field that even the deer have GPS, first check points have little impact on taking drunk drivers off the road. Maybe they are good for expired tags and revoked or no operator license but DWI nope. You want to get drunks off the street you put more units on the street. You can't do that if your department is understaffed.

The pandering of the left to the plight of illegal immigrants is misguided as well.  

The problem is that we have Latino communities in Charlotte that are simply concentrations of immigrants. Where within these concentrations there are factions as well as ethic diversity. Central Americans over here, Mexicans over there, and the gangs and drugs here and there and they all hate the Hondurans. 

It is against this backdrop that the illegal immigrants exist and try to blend in. You have a population (both legal and natura) that inherently does not trust Policia because throughout Mexico and Central America police are agents of the state and corruption is the standard. So, add another 10 thousand that are in the country illegally and you have a mess of distrust that no amount of pandering will over come.

Tarig says, "Unintended Consequences - but the reality is that people in Charlotte including Tarig don’t understand the role of Customs and Immigration vs ICE vs HLS, US Marshals, DEA and FBI and how CMPD works tirelessly with all of them. They are indeed coordinated. And as far as the Latino community I don’t care if Chief Putney gives them his cell number, they are not going to call him, La Policia or 911.

The only way fix the trust issue is to recruit Latino officers, not just a couple of token officers or some guy that lives in Gastonia who took Spanish in college but from the community and you can’t do that when you don’t pay our CMPD officers enough! 

There are leaders within the Latino community but they have long since assimilated into Charlotte's mainstream culture. I still have Dan Ramirez's phone number on my iPhone. But reaching that other segment is not going to be easy without a Ramirez on the dais.  

To make matters worse Sherriff McFadden's campaign pledge to end 287(g) did just the opposite of what voters thought was a plus. 287(g) was one way hard working members of Charlotte's real legal immigrant and natural born Latino community could trust the government and a way that they could weed out the bad. 

Sadly even those who are natural born Americans are unfairly lumped into a group of sub illegal citizens which are the only ones McFadden and the majority of Charlotte's City Council are actually pandering to.  

And that's Racist!   

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

LaWana Mayfield Plays The Race Card Again! (Surprised?)

Nutty City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield took to Twitter on Monday to counter blunt criticism by the editorial board of the Charlotte Observer. Seems the Observer learned that Governor Cooper had appointed Police Officer hating Mayfield to a board position In December of last year.

The Charlotte Observer’s Editorial Board published the Op-Ed critical of the appointment due to Mayfield’s checkered and controversial statements regarding law enforcement and for promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories on her Facebook page.

“Mayfield’s appointment sends another troubling message. It normalizes the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that increasingly pollutes public discourse. It says you’re fine saying destructive things so long as you’re on our team,” the Charlotte Observer article (below) reads.

Looney Bird Mayfield was quick to take to twitter and throw down the race card.




From The Charlotte Observer:

About once a month, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announces two to three dozen new appointments the governor has made to North Carolina boards and commissions. The appointees come from across the state, and the boards help advise and inform the work of government in Raleigh and elsewhere. Mostly it’s not high-level stuff — no one is working on state budgets or big bills here — but the appointments are still useful. Some important work gets done, local folks get rewarded, and the governor gets the good vibe of being the one doing the rewarding.

It is, simply, good politics.

But not always. Among December’s appointments was one that shouldn’t fly under the radar: Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield to the North Carolina Human Relations Commission.

The 22-member commission promotes equality in several areas, including housing, education and justice. It’s one of the state’s higher-profile boards, investigating housing complaints and providing critical advocacy for several programs involving community relations. On the surface, Mayfield’s appointment makes sense, as she is a fierce advocate on the City Council for equality. She is better known across the state, however, for two regrettable outbursts — a Facebook post questioning whether the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were real, and a tweet calling police “homegrown terrorist(s).”

Read more here

The latter, sent on March 28, said: “Being black in America under #45 (Donald Trump) has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms.” Mayfield has refused to back down from either.

Mayfield’s perspectives on 9/11, while loony, shouldn’t be of much concern to the governor. But her remarks on police are counterproductive to the relationship-building mission of the Human Relations Commission, and her appointment sends the wrong message to law enforcement and others.

Mayfield certainly has the right to say whatever she wants — however offensive it might be to some. There’s also a case to be made that her harsh view of some law enforcement might provide a valuable perspective to the board. “LaWana Mayfield is the longest serving city council member of the state’s largest city,” Cooper spokesperson Ken Eudy told the editorial board. “We don’t require the thousands of appointees to state boards and commissions to have the same viewpoints and opinions as the governor.”

But this isn’t about having different perspectives. After all, the clash of contrary viewpoints is vital for any real progress on issues. Surely, though, there are other voices across the state who can express the uneasiness and distrust some communities have with police, yet do it without the kind of bomb-throwing that shuts down critical conversations instead of moving them forward.

Mayfield’s appointment sends another troubling message. It normalizes the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that increasingly pollutes public discourse. It says you’re fine saying destructive things so long as you’re on our team. We already were disappointed at the timid response to Mayfield last year from her fellow Democrats in Charlotte. We’ve had enough of that the past couple years with Republicans in Washington.

Cooper should give this appointment another look, instead of looking the other way.

Cedar Update: Late Wednesday Governor Roy Cooper's office revoked LaWana Mayfield's appointment.  



Saturday, January 26, 2019

NBA All Star Weekend All Hands On Deck Almost

If you watched the WBTV News report on the upcoming NBA All Star Week and how CMPD's no time off policy is being implemented you may have noticed a very soft reference to a double standard. Which Chief Putney says is not true.

Sad that WBTV is even afraid to say who (Deputy Chief Foster) at the department gets special treatment.

WBTV Cheerleader Molly Grantham was quick to defend Coleen Harry's reporting on the absolute double standard and her failure to ask hard questions or directly ask the Chief why Foster was given a "free pass" while rank and file are told no way no how.

"Pointing out reason 4,592 why I respect @ColeenHarryWBTV's reporting. She didn't feel it necessary to name the employee having a bday bash. The party isn't the story. That's just gossip. Instead, she went straight to source to get answers on bigger question of double standard."

Gossip yeah right: 
Poster promoting Deputy Chief Vicki Foster's 50th Birthday Party

You be the judge, here is the text of Coleen's report, interview and the Chief's response:

WBTV - In a couple of weeks thousands of people will be in Charlotte for the NBA All-Star Weekend. It’s one of the biggest events to come to the Queen City. Charlotte Mecklenburg Police were already notified that days off will be cancelled. Last year, the department informed officers that single day or week-long vacations will not be granted during that time.

Now, some officers are not happy with how the department is executing the no days off directive. They believe there’s a double standard – and it has to do with a birthday party. There’s an invitation circling around for a celebration on Saturday February 16th for a high ranking CMPD commander. It’s happening in the middle of the stretch of time that officers were told no days off would be granted.

“What we’re trying to do is allow for at least a day in the middle for everybody as best we can,” said Chief Kerr Putney. “I don’t see where someone’s birthday party is newsworthy for me to really address. If our officers have issues with their schedules be adults and talk to me about it.”

Some officers who spoke with WBTV don’t want their names used because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. They say to them – the birthday bash smacks of a double standard. How can rank and file, they asked, not get any days off during All-Star weekend and work every day... 10-to-12-hour shifts depending on the assignment... but a commander can have a personal celebration when they were told not to make plans?

WBTV took the officers’ concerns to Chief Putney.

“They work their shift. Time other than their shift is personal time. I’m not dictating what anybody does,” said Chief Putney. “What I’ll also tell you is your responsibility sometimes equates to your rank. I know I will not be directing traffic during the NBA All Star. I know I will be working long hours though. That is my assignment. That is what I do.”

Chief Putney said the police schedule for that weekend depends on what kinds of work officers will be doing. “Sometimes your assignment allows for more flexibility. That’s okay too. What I will tell you is I’m not going to tell people they can’t celebrate birthdays if it doesn’t impact the work that they should be doing so if it were somebody who is specifically assigned to a specific critical function it would be a different issue – that’s not the case" said Putney.

The link to the full WBTV News Story is here. (opens in a new window)

Cedar's Take:

Every CMPD Officer I know understands the need for "All Hands" during events like the NBA All-Star Week. CMPD should also know that while officers are willing to work extra shifts, miss their kids birthdays or soccer games, postpone vacation weekends, the demands of special events that run an entire week add to the "home stress" of being a cop.

Sadly for some reason "lead by example" is a concept lost on many within CMPD's command structure. Anyone who has ever walked into a mess hall knows that the highest ranking officer is always the last one in the chow line.  

The last CMPD Officer Appreciation Luncheon I attended had a buffet line and the first person in line was Rodney Monroe followed but two Deputy Chiefs. I'd hope things would have changed since Rodney's departure. 

Its also interesting to note the "us people of color got to stick together" narrative. I'm not buying it, but the question has been floated did Coleen not mention Foster's name because as a "women of color" she felt they need to stick together?

What do you think?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Brittney Cason - We've Lost Bright Star

By now many of you have learned of the passing of Brittney Cason, who died on Wednesday, January 23 in Las Vegas.

Brittney had left Charlotte five years ago heading to Vegas to co-host BS In The Morning on KOMP 92 FM until last fall.




Jordan Fish, who was forever besties with Brittney at least since high school days, posted a message Friday night that read, in part:

“It is with deep sadness that our dear friend, Brittney Cason, passed away on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, mere hours shy of what would have been her 38th birthday.

Her family and close friends want to thank all of you who have sent messages, made phone calls and expressed their deepest condolences over the past couple of days. They are greatly appreciated. We understand people have questions, but privacy is requested during this difficult time. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we all take time to heal.” We initially told you about Cason back in 2011 when she landed her first radio gig — Cason had been very active in the Charlotte media market as a blogger and freelance columnist for The Charlotte Observer, and had also done TV reporting for ESPNU and NASCAR when she was noticed by CBS Radio and hired as the co-host of The O Show with Otis on WNKS (Kiss 95.1)/Charlotte."

Cason left KOMP last fall after a falling out with her husband and had returned to her hometown of Harrisonburg, VA to temporarily stay with her parents.

Brittney's final Twitter post was on Tuesday, Jan. 22 — a photo taken inside the terminal of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas as she returned to Las Vegas to interview for a radio job and to celebrate her 38th birthday with friends.

Brittney was fixture in Charlotte long before the bright lights and future husband lured her to Vegas. Panther's paved the way but Charlotte's Uptown Nightlife was never really the same without her wit and smile.

She was one of a handful of people besides a close group in CMPD crowd who know CP's true identity.

Divorce hit Brittney hard but in her typical style she brushed it off with humor.

I searched a dozen DMs looking for clues and I swear she seemed to be in a good place. The holidays rolled on and she seemed resilient as ever, a couple days of radio silence here and there and she'd surface. Full of hopes and dreams and sarcasm. 

Frankly I had concerns but nothing seemed out of place. 

Of course there's a huge Elephant in the Room. 37 year old vibrant lives don't just flame out un-expectantly overnight without reason. I'm not going to guess or speculate. I still stunned and heartbroken.

What I will say is that she had everything to live for and she knew it. She wasn't a "user" as far as I know. But I've lost 3 friends in the last two years due to accidental overdoses. Robbie, Jamie and Karl all were smart sober and demon free. They were talented and funny like Brittney and their deaths still make not an ounce of sense.

Cedar Update: Over the past many days I've had several sad conversations with friends of Brittney and have to accept that she did indeed kill herself. I'm beyond grief stricken and heartbroken and have spent hours wondering if there wasn't something I could have done. Even her closest friends are stunned. More after today's celebration of life service. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Cedar Update

Sorry folks I've been MIA, just been really busy with the real jobs. 

The DC Foster time off during the NBA All-Star week really grinds my gears. I'll post about that ASAP.

Some house keeping items. 

As many of you know Foster threatened to sue CP or at least who she thought was CP a few years ago over the post I made about her failing to pay her property taxes on a bunch of rental property. She was screaming libel and slander (doubt she knows the difference) even went so far as having a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to a CMPD Sergeant. But as any attorney will tell you, truth is an excellent defense.

Just the fact ma'am, just that facts.  

And so the comments section is open to all, and a great place to start a conversation about what digs at you be it department or otherwise. But lets not get into a shouting match between Officers. I am pretty comfortable in saying that despite some serious disagreement and some crazy lack seeing things the same way, that when you need help you know even the people who don't agree with you will have your back. 

NBA CIAA and GOP is going to up everyone some additional stress, CMPD is understaffed by numbers of 200-500 depending on who is spinning the count. Just the same y'all do a great job every day. I hear it from everyone expect maybe the doorbell lickers out there.

By the way anyone cares to post something just write it up and email me I'll take the time to make sure it gets out there.

As many of you know CP has family and a number of friends still employed with CMPD and the city county government. Just the same many have retired or simply given up. That said I'm still going to stay on the DL. Down Low.

Finally the public doesn't know 1/2 of what is going on nightly. Stuff that never makes the news because it will piss off the chief or upset Vilma Leake. Homicides make the news yet swatting calls don't lets tell more of the story.

One last thing:

"Let's Be Careful Out There"

CP


Monday, December 10, 2018

Margret Isza Sajgo Passed Away Last Week She Was 93

People will say "she lived a full life" its seldom true but at least it is polite.

The View From The 4th Pew of the DCPC Chapel
Margaret Sajgo is an exception, she did indeed live a full life. Cedar Post stumbled across her obituary last week not entirely by accident:

Margaret Isza Sajgo, 93 of Charlotte, N. C., passed away on December 2, 2018, at Presbyterian Hospital (Novant Health Services) in hospice surrounded by her family. Margaret was married to Ferenc Frank Sajgo, who passed away in Charlotte on July 1, 2007. She is survived by her daughters Gloria M. Sajgo (and her partner Annette Snapp); and Christina Sajgo McCormick (and her husband Bill McCormick); grandchildren Melissa Katherine Plummer and Matthew Jared Plummer (and his partner Lusamba Katende). Bernadette Moultrie was her friend and caregiver. The family thanks Doctors Making House Calls - especially Gabriel Rocha PA--for their service and dedication and Dr. William Porter and his staff at Novant Health for their support and help.

Margaret was born on December 20, 1924 in Vamospercs, Hungary to the late Arpad Isza and Julianna Deak Isza. She was the second oldest; her three sisters were the late: Julianna Isza Czegeny, Ilona Isza Olah, and Magdolna Isza Szincsak. Margaret grew up Hungary spending her childhood in Hajduboszormeny and many of her teenage years in Budapest, where she and Frank met. Later she also lived in Basel, Switzerland.

In 1950 she moved to Argentina to marry Frank, her childhood sweetheart and as she liked to say the only boyfriend she ever had. They were married in Buenos Aires in July 1950. Frank was a research chemist. In 1966 he moved to Charlotte to work for what is now the Clariant Corp (Formerly Sandoz) in Mount Holly. Margaret and her daughters followed in 1967.

Margaret was a life long Reformed Christian who encouraged her family by quoting "Fear not; believe only" (Luke 8:50) and advised the Bible should be read cover to cover "at least once". She listened to the weekly services from the Davidson College Presbyterian Church (DCPC) and enthusiastically participated by wishing "peace be with you" to anyone visiting with her at that time.

Margaret admired beautiful clothing and worked as a custom seamstress until her daughters were born. Later when living in Charlotte she studied oil painting and became a prolific painter of landscapes and scenes inspired by her childhood in Hajduboszormeny. After she lost her sight in 2008, she gracefully transitioned to becoming an avid listener of WDAV, the classical public radio station at Davidson College.

A Memorial Service was held at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church 100 North Main St Davidson NC 28036 at 5 p.m. on December 8, 2018.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to DCPC P.O. Box 337, Davidson NC 28036 704-892-5641 or to WDAV 89.9 Davidson College Box 8900 Davidson NC 28035.

A full life indeed. But here's where it gets interesting, you see... you can and she couldn't. You can walk and she couldn't. She wasn't able to attend church but you could. So every Sunday at 11 AM Margret Sajgo would listen to WDAV's broadcast of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church Sunday Service.

When they passed the collection plate, she was there at home sealing an envelope. When members joyfully began greeting one and other in church, she would great those near her as well. She was as much a member of DCPC as those in attendance every Sunday.

And from this her daughter was inspired by her mother's faith and strength. During the brief eulogy she said her mother's faith made her mother stronger. She had lost her ability to walk but somehow she became stronger and when she lost her sight something that would put most of us to the depths of depression she became stronger still. Those who knew Margaret, understood it was her faith and it was God who gave her strength, because the less she had, the more room there was for God in her life.

If you ever asked yourself who in the world listens to church on the radio, well there's your answer. Margret Isza Sajgo listens and so do countless others. And some might wonder does this radio ministry serve a purpose or do any good? Clearly the answer is yes.

So it was indeed fitting that Davidson College Presbyterian Church Pastor Scott Kenefake presided at the memorial service for Margret Isza Sajgo in a church she never had the joy of visiting.

And as I sat there in the small chapel sheltered from the cold of an approaching winter storm there was the joy of a life well lived to be celebrated. The turn out was small nearly 20 people if you included the church staff and the deceased. But that was ok, because even with all the empty pews it was a full house. Full of joy and life and full of God's Love.

Cedar Bonus: Surprisingly a lot of people listen to WDAV in fact in 2016 it was ranked the number one classical music station nationally.

Friday, November 23, 2018

My Open Letter to the Parents At 3709 and 3724 Smokerise Hill Drive

The Raintree subdivision covers about 1,100 acres in South Charlotte between Highway 51 (Pineville Matthews Road) and Providence Road West aka Ballentyne Commons Parkway.

With two golf courses and a dozen tennis courts, 2 pools and a large club house Raintree is a young parent magnet. Small children, school buses and kids on bikes are everywhere. 
Sadly, Raintree Lane is also a popular cut trough for Charlotte's most impatient drivers.
One of the first streets created in the mid 1970's was Smokerise Hill Drive. My parents have lived on this street for nearly 45 years and I have driven past these two homes 100 times just in the last year.
Nearly every time I venture down Smokerise Hill Drive reaching the two homes which are across from each other the kids are in the street.
And frankly I'm stunned at how unaware millennial parents are and clueless they have become.
So here's my open letter to Stupid Parents #1 and Stupid Parents #2. 

To The Parents At 3709 and 3724 Smokerise Hill Drive:
I suspect your kids are well mannered and very well behaved. I further suspect you are very good parents, well at least in your eyes. Frankly your repeated mantra "Treavor, Natalie" does little to teach them life skills.

My brothers and Sisters and I grew up on Smokerise Hill Drive, we played football on the golf course, rode our bikes in the street to the club house and nearby friend's homes, and we were generally free range kids. We were also young teens 13-15 years of age when our parents let us venture out of the back yard and into the street, and not 6 and 8 year old mirco kids.

I have no idea why your kids and the ones the live across from you are in the street or playing within a few feet of the street all the time.

The other night I drove down the street well after hard dark and saw 3 tiny silhouettes dart across the street into the shadows. I saw only a glimpse of them, until I passed your house.

Few weeks ago with the sun setting, I came over the hill blinded by the sun unable to see very well, I spotted one, then another then a 3rd running across the street.

It is only a matter of time.

Years ago the family that lived on the corner of Eagles Nest and Smokerise bought their young son a very small dirt bike. The 50 cc Honda minibike was not all that fast, he may have had it about 3 weeks when he hit a car that had stopped on Raintree Lane. He died the following night. The family who lost their young child regrouped and recovered, and life went on, but the woman who he hit had to live with that horror the rest of her life even though it was not her fault.

My parents who live at the end of the street as well as other neighbors are well aware that your kids play in the street and while unlawful (yes it is illegal to impede traffic and there are several city ordinances against it) no neighbor is going to call the police, but that’s not the point.

What is the point, is that you, sadly, are incredibly stupid. When one of your kids is hit by a car you’ll be able to say it was the driver’s fault, but your son or daughter won’t be any less dead.

The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Jim Acosta Gets The Hook Again - Watch How MSM Spins This

Jim Acosta gets the hook again, just more formally this time, in an apparent effort to met the court's concern about due process. 

The letter sent to Jim Acosta that spells out the due process regarding his "hard pass" and the reasons for the revocation of his White House access. 

We are writing to give you formal written notice that we have made a preliminary decision to suspend your hard pass due to your conduct at the President’s November 7, 2018 press conference. 

The president is aware of this preliminary decision and concurs. The factual basis for this preliminary decision to suspend your pass is as follows:As you know, President Trump has provided and extraordinary amount of access to journalists to ask questions, while operating an extremely open and transparent White House. 

The White House does not have a written code of conduct for journalists participating in presidential press conferences. We had not previously thought that set of formal rules for journalists’ behavior at press conferences was necessary. 

That is because it had previously been a widely shared understanding that: 

(1) a journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question, and, having received a response, will yield the floor unless, at the discretion of the President or other White House official answering questions, a follow-up question or questions is permitted, after which follow-up(s), the journalist will then yield the floor; and 

(2) when a journalist has had his or her question(s) answered, the journalist is expected to yield the floor and, 

(3) when applicable, physically surrender any microphone the journalist is using to White House staff for use by the next questioner. 

Three basic, commonsense practices are necessary for orderly press conferences that are fair to all journalists in attendance. They have served the public, the press, and the President well.

Your behavior at a November 7 press conference violated the basic standards governing such events, and is, in our preliminary judgment, sufficient factual basis to revoke your hard pass. 

While this is our preliminary decision, we would be pleased to consider any material you would like to submit in response to it.

Should you wish to contest this preliminary decision or the factual basis set forth in this letter, please submit a written response to us in writing via email by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 18, 2018. Should you not submit a response by that time, this preliminary decision will [be] final. 

You may submit that response by emailing it to one or both of us. 

We are happy to consider that response and any other materials you would like to submit before a final decision is made in this matter. 

Should you choose to contest this preliminary decision and submit a written response to this formal notice, we will consider your written response and will issue you a final determination in writing 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2018. 

Of course, you will continue to maintain your hard pass while the Temporary Restraining Order issued on November 16, 2018, remains in effect.

But watch how main stream media will spin this by claiming that Trump is:

(1) Violating the court order
(2) Making up rules as he goes
(3) Declaring the Media to be the enemy of the people
(4) Violating the Constitution

and MSM will just skip over that last part regarding the TRO. Watch and see. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Idiots Among Us – Cocoa's Owner Paula Brown Cites Racism In Road Rage Incident

You head to work, leave your wife behind and figure she’ll manage to get the kids to school safely, run a few errands and head back to the house or maybe to her office job nearby. 

Never in your wildest dreams, would you expect to have her become the subject of some race baited road rage incident, have to call the cops and then become the subject of some hateful social media messages, calling her every name in the book and labeling her a racist bigot especially since you live in Ballentyne. 

Apparently the driver of a black Nissan SUV with the vanity license plate COCOAS is not very patient and a whole lot of angry. 

The victim who is named Anna describes what happened in her own words: 

"I've lived in this neighborhood for 6 years and never experienced something so shocking. This morning around 9, I was making the right out of Thornhill from Meadow Run Lane, onto Ballantyne Commons Parkway. Lots of traffic, so I guess she thought I was taking too long. She honked at me several times, drove up beside me, called me a BITCH and then proceeded to try to make a right turn IN FRONT OF ME. She said she lives in this neighborhood. This is pathetic and dangerous. If you know her, tell her I've filed a police report."

Road Raging Paula 

Road Raging Paula Says ….


Well a couple hours later the road raging woman who happens to be African American decides to continue her rage on line: 

"My name is Paula Brown and I’ve lived in the neighborhood for years also! First and foremost I was making a left on Ballantyne Commons not a right. Second of all I’m not the one who blew the horn, it was the car behind me. 


Amazingly Paula Includes her photo

When I went to take the left you started shouting belligerent names at me with my kids in the car, and telling me to get out of your neighborhood. 

What makes this your neighborhood? Is the fact that we are people of color that we don’t belong here?" 

Whoa! Did she just play the race card? 

"The remarks you made that “that’s why Trump wants to send me back” was so derogatory, and racist that I was aghast by the remark. 

My kids ashamed, and embarrassed! I’d like to inform you that Cocoas is a chain of restaurants, with multiple locations, two here in Charlotte. I own these restaurants and have worked very hard to get where I am. 

I’m not going to let your racism affect and effect my family, children and goals in life. You’re a pig and can kiss my black ass!" 

Oh now this is fun she manages to cover Donald Trump and immigration and brag about her success all in one paragraph. 

Adding later 

“I can’t wait to talk to the Police!” 

Let us add a little more crazy to this cat fight, now a woman who identifies herself as Jennifer adds: 

"The profanity in front of kids aside, are we now having to add "turning left while black" to the list of offenses that resulted in yet another panicked white person calling the police and from a person in our own neighborhood no less? Paula, please accept my apology on behalf of white people that don't act like this." 

Later Paula adds: 

"I’m the kindest person in the world, feeding the homeless and all! This lady is a lying fascist pig! And obviously needs some attention from someone!" 

So now that we have a name for the Road Raging SUV driver things get really personal, Anna tells Paula she's having non of her nonsense:

"Paula, you know very well that you called me a BITCH and I never called you ANY names! I also didn't make this about your race, you did. Get a clue. You acted terribly this morning. You should be ashamed, feeding the homeless or not." 

But Paula is not finished: 

"You’re 12 year old should’ve been at school at 9:00 am. The kid you see in my truck will be 39 years old in January! And to hear the things you said effected him much more than the possibility of your 12 year old hearing the word “ bitch’ which is not true...Stop making excuses! You did not know I lived in the neighborhood, and it should’ve clued you when I posed for your picture and gave you my tag number. You pulled off before I did remember? And it’s Cocoa’s since you didn’t hear it right!" 


So here's our proud owner of Cocoa's at her store on Sugar Creek
Opps she’s not done yet: 

"Good bye lady! I don’t have time for this nonsense! Have a great day! I never honked my horn. It was the car behind me. That’s the fact! You should’ve never rolled your window down to say anything at all to me. I’m afraid to do that because it’s so many crazy people out here. That’s why we live in Thornhill because we feel safe! Or we use to anyway!" 

Now at this point you might figure we are done, but nope add the voice of Charla to the mix:

"The back exit onto Ballantyne commons is not wide enough for 2 cars to be exiting at the same time. If one was turning right, all other cars should remain behind it until she has left the neighborhood. 2 cars- one turning right and one turning left leaves NO room for a car to come into the neighborhood on Meadow Run. Don't even begin to understand how this has become a race or political issue...." 

And so once again our victim speaks up: 

"Paula, you and I know what was said. You can keep up with the racist accusations, and live with that. I DON'T EVEN know where you got the Trump stuff from, but I would never curse you out in front of my kid, and not yours either (at least I thought he was). You have now called me a fascist, a racist, a pig, and a bitch. Sound like a stretch?" 

Suddenly without warning Paula changes her tone: 

"You’ll are right! I’m sorry Anna! This is just silly!"

So here's a thought guys be careful how you ask "how was your day?" when you walk though that front door tonight.

Cedar's Take: As the number of Yankee transplants grows so do the number of accidents. Rude and aggressive drivers like Paula will eventually get taken out by their own stupidity. The trouble is us Southerners know where we are going and we are not in a big hurry versus the transplants have no idea where they are going and they are in a crazy hurry to make up for the three wrong turns they just made. This is not a good mixture. 

I have only one husband rule, never hook your horn, flip anyone off, roll down your window or get out of your car no matter what happens. OK so it is four rules and lets add leave enough room at all times between you and the car in front of you so that you can go around if they get out of their car for some wrong you have committed and come at you. Don't hesitate to run someone over to get away and if you feel threatened and you can't drive away you have a weapon, use it!