Thursday, September 18, 2014

485 Fake Tree - The Mystery Widens (File This Under I Told You So)

More than a year ago, Cedar Posts noted the totally out of place cell phone tower disguised as a pine tree. A tree that was better suited to the Northwest than South Charlotte, that just didn't make sense.

Photo Credit: Cedar Posts

Turns out I wasn't the only one interested in the odd tower and placement on CMS property. Now the info trail has become rather interesting with the posting of a YouTube video from the blog Info Wars.

Trouble is that while it ups the steaks it raises more questions than gives answers.

The thinking is this tower isn't your normal cell phone tower, rather one operated by "Big Brother" to spy on you. According to records searched by Info Wars the tower is not leased to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, or T-Mobile. And the tower owner refuses to say who is operating the tower.

NSA? CIA? FBI? Rodney Monroe? Well apparently someone is using the tower these things aren't cheap. If it is indeed an "intercept tower" reading your text messages, tracking your movements, listening to your dirty talk with your girlfriend, why is it on CMS property and why is it so damn ugly and obvious.

Hat Tip to Jeff Taylor for pointing CP to the video.

Greensboro Speeding Ticket Earns Woman 1 AM CMPD Wake-Up Call

Charlotte's main stream media looking anyway possible to shame CMPD Officers.

Take WSOC's report on the arrest of Mazoe Anderson. Anderson had an outstanding warrant out of Guildford court for failure to appear on a traffic ticket.

For some reason Anderson's warrant found its way to CMPD, let's assume her DL address and Officers came to her home to make the arrest.

As you might expect Anderson wasn't happy about going to jail at 1 AM over a traffic ticket. Now she's charged with resisting and assault on a CMPD Officer.

WSOC's interest in the story comes from after her arrest when she took a bus to the hospital for a shoulder injury she sustained during the arrest.
WSOC's report below:

A local mother and veteran says Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers woke her up at 1 a.m, arrested her without showing her a warrant and then separated her shoulder while taking her into custody.

CMPD is investigating.

Mazoe Anderson told Channel 9 two CMPD Officers banged on her door to arrest her for an outstanding warrant on a speeding ticket out of Greensboro.

She says when she refused to step out her front door, one of the officers pulled her out of her home by her shoulder.

Her son recorded the incident.

Anderson said officers refused to show her the warrant and one wrestled her to the ground.

She showed Channel 9 a picture of her in the hospital after she bonded out of jail. A medical record shows she has a separated shoulder.

"Somebody pulling you out of your home, out of your sleep in the middle of the night, and you never having any issues, you're confused," Anderson said.

After serving and retiring from the Army, Anderson suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She said the experience caused her to have flashbacks.

CMPD released this statement following the incident:  “The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is currently investigating the complaint from Ms. Anderson to determine if any policy or procedures were violated.  The department has and will continue to hold its members to the highest level of professionalism and accountability as they serve the public.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mecklenburg County Manager Acknowledges Unaccompanied/Undocumented Youth

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

I have just learned of a human services issue that the Board should be aware of. 

Last Friday, DSS staff engaged in a work group discussion on the topic of unaccompanied - undocumented youth living in the County. There are currently 488 unaccompanied youth in Mecklenburg County.

According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), unaccompanied homeless youth are youth experiencing homelessness while not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. It is estimated that 1.6 to 1.7 million youth experience homelessness on their own each year. These youth live in a variety of unsafe, temporary situations -- including cars, parks, shelters, motels and homes of other people. Many unaccompanied youth are also undocumented residents.

DSS is working with the Latin American Coalition, CMS, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, area churches and medical service providers to develop a working plan. The group is in the very early stages of addressing this issue and is still in the process of creating a complete action plan with a timeline.

I will continue to update you on this issue as more information becomes available.

For more information about this topic, contact Community Resources Division Director Darrell Cunningham at or call 704 336-3286.

Friday, September 12, 2014

CMPD Officer Charged


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Jason Van Aken was arrested Friday by CMPD detectives and charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault.

The charges stem from a criminal investigation which the CMPD launched to determine whether Van Aken used excessive force on the victim, Terance G. Malachi, 30, who was in custody on a carrying a concealed gun charge.

During the investigation, detectives determined, the victim was in custody, in handcuffs and leg shackles, in the CMPD’s Metro Division interview room when Van Aken pushed the victim into a wall.

Malachi was taken to a hospital and was diagnosed with a broken collarbone as a result of the assault.

In addition to his arrest, Van Aken has also been placed on unpaid administrative leave and has had his gun and badge removed while the internal investigation continues.

Van Aken was hired by the CMPD on April 25, 2011, and was last assigned to the Metro Division as a patrol officer.

Cedar's Take: OK Kids this is getting little old. Video cameras and cell phones mean saying "He fell; Twice..."  just isn't going to cut it any longer. From what I hear Malachi had it coming, just the same come on let's use our heads.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Construction Worker Impersonates CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe

File this under "SMH" - CMPD's Command Staff strictly enforces the department's regulations regarding social media. A dozen or so Officers have been suspended for harmless twitter, facebook and instagram posts. The basic concept is that no officer or civilian employee shall post anything online that could be considering disparaging to the uniform or the department.

2headedmonstar "Type of Stuff U do, when U work at the Chiefs House! (Lol)
he said he gone let me do a Ride Along!" #ThatsWhatsUp #CMPD

So why is this guy, (who is apparently doing some remodeling at Chief Monroe's home) posing in the chief's duty jacket? And the cut out? Seriously? Like I said just "SMH".

Monday, September 8, 2014

Charlotte Observer Stirs The Racial Tension Pot

NO Doubt by now you've read, seen or heard that CMPD Officers arrested an apparently well known Gay activist who also just happens to be Black, last Monday. The arrest occurred Uptown at the CMS Education Center across from Marshall Park, while most of the city was enjoying a quiet Labor Day Holiday.

Normally such arrests in Charlotte would be of little note, but the madness of Ferguson has given the main stream media something to focus on.

But for some reason the staff at the Charlotte Observer felt it necessary to stir the racial tension pot.  Apparently from the paper's perspective two white CMPD Officers arrested a black man for "no reason" or at worse a minor city ordinance violation.

And so it goes that the local paper penned an editorial with the following headline:

CMPD confronts Moral Monday activist over leaflets

A video of a confrontation between Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and an activist at the Moral Monday march in the Queen City this week is raising eyebrows about police actions. The activist was reportedly leaving leaflets on cars about voting rights when police placed him in handcuffs after they asked for his identification and tried to take his cell phone.

 The local paper went on to let Ty Turner explain his view of the "Confrontation"

“They said they would charge me for distributing literature... I asked [the policeman] for the ordinance number [being violated], because they can’t put handcuffs on you if they cannot tell you why they’re detaining you. I said, ‘Show me where it’s illegal to do this.’ But he would not do it. The officer got mad and grabbed me. Then he told me that I was resisting arrest!”
CMPD spokesperson Jessica Wallin reportedly told qnotes that Turner was only detained. But in a video taken by another activist, one officer clearly (sp)  says he's under arrest.

The city does have an
ordinance against the distribution of handbills or other paper materials on vehicles. Some say it is rarely enforced. It's not a well-known ordinance in any case.

More disturbing is what allegedly happened after Turner was handcuffed and taken away in a police cruiser. Turner told ThinkProgress that he was never taken to the Mecklenburg County Jail. According to the report, “Instead of transporting Turner directly to the Mecklenburg County jail, which sits just a few blocks from Marshall Park, he said they took him first to an empty parking lot behind the highway. ‘They took me to three different spots other than the jail,’ he said. ‘They knew they were in the wrong.’”

A video of the incident doesn't show what happened prior to the confrontation but it does raise questions about whether the incident could have been handled better and tensions defused in a more productive manner. Initially, Turner calmly asks an onlooker to be a witness as he asks for the ordinance he is violating. But tensions soon escalate.  Several other officers eventually appear on the scene, and one is heard saying the matter will be investigated.

They should investigate.

The editorial goes on to point out:

After hearing about the arrest on Monday, about 30 participants from the Moral Monday rally — including state NAACP President Rev. William Barber, Charlotte NAACP President Rev. Kojo Nantambu and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham — marched silently to the Mecklenburg County Jail to ask for Turner’s release.

Turner was released shortly after and issued a citation.

On Tuesday, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners appointed Turner to a board committee, prompting this email from Commissioner Bill James:
"I am not sure if this is just an isolated incident but it is troubling to vote for a candidate to serve on a board committee last night to represent the Board of Commissioners only to see that the day we appoint him he was arrested for violating the law.
"At one level it shows a lack of sophistication about how to get things done. At another level, if he is so supportive of civil disobedience why does he want to serve on a board which is clearly working ‘within the system’?

"Obviously he has the political bug, running for State Senate as a Democrat (but losing to Mr. Jackson I think).

"In any event, it is troubling that the candidate we select to represent us is a loose cannon."

Judge for yourself whether the video below shows "a loose cannon." It does show something troubling though - a heated confrontation between police and a citizen over a minor incident that looks as if it could have been avoided. 

Read more here:

More disturbing is what allegedly happened after Turner was handcuffed and taken away in a police cruiser. Turner told ThinkProgress that he was never taken to the Mecklenburg County Jail. According to the report, “Instead of transporting Turner directly to the Mecklenburg County jail, which sits just a few blocks from Marshall Park, he said they took him first to an empty parking lot behind the highway. ‘They took me to three different spots other than the jail,’ he said. ‘They knew they were in the wrong.’”

After hearing about the arrest on Monday, about 30 participants from the Moral Monday rally — including state NAACP President Rev. William Barber, Charlotte NAACP President Rev. Kojo Nantambu and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham — marched silently to the Mecklenburg County Jail to ask for Turner’s release.

Then on Wednesday "The Observer" ran this headline:

Police: CMPD officers behaved appropriately when arresting man at protest

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they believe their officers behaved appropriately when arresting a man outside a “Moral Monday” demonstration on Labor Day.

Ty Turner, a community activist who once ran for a state Senate seat, was arrested then un-arrested and released without being booked into jail. He was ultimately given a citation for posting handbills on cars.

His arrest was caught on video at least twice – by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer and on Turner’s phone, which he briefly held above his head out of officers’ reach.

The rest of the article from the paper is here.

Then on Thursday the "Local Paper" printed a hit piece from Madeline McClenney-Sadler
under the "Viewpoint" subhed:

For blacks, there's no right response to bigoted police

Which offered this little gem:

Given what we do at Exodus to redeem black lives, in the aftermath of the arrest of Ty Turner, the senseless slaughter of Jonathan Ferrell, the choke hold of Eric Garner, the gunning down of Michael Brown, the martyrdom of Kejieme Powell, and the countless named and unnamed victims of police misconduct, I must warn parents and loved ones of young black and brown people. There is absolutely no right answer with which you may equip your son or daughter that will protect him or her after being pulled over by a bigoted officer.

First, as long as Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have a police chief like Rodney Monroe, who is actively trying to educate his officers on implicit racial bias and how it poisons good police work, we need to support efforts to see that all officers receive such training both in Charlotte and around the state.

Secondly, we must agree not to appoint any future police chief who does not make a verbal and written commitment to continue Monroe’s legacy of reducing arrests and training officers on implicit racial bias.

The entire viewpoint piece is here.

Which brings us to the alternative view from the other side of the blue line. CP has heard from sources who give some interesting back story regarding Mr. Turner's arrest and then "un-arrest".

When the two CMPD Officers approached Mr. Turner just as they approach dozens of citizens each day, the plan was not to arrest, harass, or even intimidate Mr. Turner. Their only interest was a man, in the CMS Education Center parking lot, that they noticed was by himself moving between cars. A man whose actions looked a lot like someone intent on breaking into autos.

Mr. Turner's immediate reaction when approached was to become loud, and unruly. He was given several chances to "settle down".  Yet he continued to be completely uncooperative and verbally abusive. By the time the person recording the event is close enough, to capture on video the happenings, Mr. Turner is seen clearly resisting, at which point the Officers had every right to use force to get Mr. Turner to comply.

But the Officers showed great restraint, allowing the belligerent Turner to continue his rant and to continue resisting his detainment.

What the video doesn't show is that the Officers were in contact with their supervisors and that the decision to "arrest" Mr. Turner wasn't made by the "white" Officers but rather, it came from CMPD Deputy Chief Kerr Putney who happens to be black. Putney is a long serving member of the department who has earned the respect of many within and outside law enforcement.

It was Putney's decision to arrest Mr. Turner because he was combative and verbally abusive. Which in the police line of work, means there might be more to this than just some guy putting leaflets on cars.

Once everything was sorted out Mr. Turner's only crime became resisting arrest, but it was Chief Monroe's decision to overrule DC Putney, ordering the Deputy Chief and another member of command staff to go to the jail and "un-arrest" Mr. Turner.

Had Mr. Turner been respectful of the law, of the Officers and of what his actions gave the appearance of, he would not have been arrested in the first place.

The Charlotte Observer's efforts to make Ty Turner's arrest into something racial is embarrassing and appears nothing more than a desperate ploy to garner reader's attention.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Wrap Up - Pigeon Catapult Edition

Pigeon Catapult - The hideously cruel sounding contraption is amazingly simple and apparently is the tool of choice for training bird dogs in the Northeast.  
But the pigeons aren't really catapulted into oblivion, instead the 3 sided box springs open, and the pigeon held inside does what pigeons do, and flies home, only to be driven back to the field again and again. The device is used to train bird dogs to "point" birds in the field without "flushing" them or chasing after them once they "flush".
During training the pigeons are stand ins for game birds and apparently pigeons smell the same as grouse and pheasant. In the field once the dog points a suspected bird in cover, the catapult trigger is pulled, now days via remote control and the pigeon takes off.
PETA however is not amused. "We are committed to banning the use of any device used to hurtle birds into the air." They are also not very well informed.

Burger Flippers - Speaking of not being well informed, on Thursday low wage earners took to the streets (literally) to demand a pay raise to $15.00 per hour across the nation.
Just blocks from CP's office at the Charleston City Marina a group of 20 protesters gathered in front of the McDonald's on the Cross Town "Parkway" at Spring Street.  During the noontime lunch rush they handed out flyers and chanted slogans.
Charleston posters being arrested after refusing to leave the street Photo Credit: CP 
Then at 1:00 they began to block traffic on Charleston's busiest thoroughfare commonly known as the "Crosstown" but also known as US Route 17 which runs from Myrtle Beach to Savannah and beyond. (Actually it runs from Winchester VA to Punta Gorda, FL Source Wikipedia
The final two protesters are arrested Photo Credit: CP
Finally at 1:30 the Charleston Police who out numbered the protesters 2-1 moved in and arrested those who refused to move out of the street. There were no scuffles, not even handcuffs or zip ties were used as each protester was "tapped out" they politely rose from the pavement and calmly walked with the escorting officers to take a seat in the back of a nearby parked patrol car.  
The end result was an eight mile backup and 15 arrests.  

US Highway 17 Traffic at a standstill backing up all the way to I-26 Photo Credit: CP

Cedar's Take: Interesting to note that apparently the irony of the closed Wendy's across the street and the boarded up Arby's and Pizza Hut next door escaped their collective thinking.

The truth is any increase in the minimum wage will have a negative short term effect on employers and in the end it will still be minimum wage. What is lost on most of the protesters is that the burger flipping job at minimum wage isn't supposed to be a career choice but rather an entry or temporary position.

Then there is the Union connection, apparently many of the Nation's Union contracts are tied to the Federal Minimum Wage.  This would give a pretty big reason for Unions to support the Burger Flipping Protesters. Hummmm.......

Detroit - has been in urban decline for years but It's worse than you thought: