Tuesday, May 31, 2011
CMPD's Central Division Commander: Uptown Speed Street Melee Was "Not A Near Riot"
According to the "Local Paper" a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police official said Tuesday that fighting and shootings that left one person dead and led to 70 arrests early Sunday in Charlotte's uptown were not a case of "near-rioting."
Capt. Jeff Estes, commander of CMPD's Central Division, which oversees the uptown area, said the early-morning trouble was a "serious matter," but he said it was not a situation in which large groups of people were "out of control in the streets."
"We never lost control of the streets, and we never lost control of the crowds," Estes said. "It was not a 'near-riot,' as it's being described in some cases."
Estes acknowledged the number of arrests -- about 70 -- was larger than normal for a weekend night in uptown. But he said it was an effort by police to curb troubles before they worsened.
Estes also said the shooting that left one man dead and another injured are a high-priority matter for police investigators.
"If there were 20,000 or 30,000 people in the uptown area Saturday night, and we're talking about 70 arrests, that's a fraction of the people who were in the area," Estes said.
He added, "This was not a minor event. There were problems, and we had to deal with it."
Estes said he knew of no confrontations between the troublemakers and two other groups in the uptown area -- those spending the evening at the clubs and restaurants in Center City, and the people visiting Food Lion Speed Street, the NASCAR-related concerts and displays in uptown.
"Speed Street ended a few hours before the trouble began," he said.
You can read the rest of the "Local Paper's" updated story here.
Cedar's Take: I suspect it depends on your perspective, compared to the riots during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago or maybe New Orleans during Mardi Gras, it wasn't a true riot or "near riot".
But this is Charlotte, North Carolina, I've lived here all my life and we don't have street fights here without calling them riots.
We don't have groups of people roaming the streets "flashing gang signs" blocking intersections and shooting at one another without calling it a riot.
We don't have people refusing to disperse and go home, mouthing off to police officers or call in the Civil Emergency Unit (Riot Police) in full riot gear without out calling it a riot.
For CMPD's Captain Estes to say that he knows of no confrontations between the thugs and two other groups in the uptown area, those spending the evening at the clubs and restaurants in Center City, and the people visiting Food Lion Speed Street, is just plain nutty.
In an effort to "spin" the story and downplay the violence, Estes has diminished the value of law abiding citizens and validated those who think there is nothing wrong with wanting to roam the streets, beat up and intimidate people, flash gang signs and shoot at each other.
The definition of Riot: A public disturbance involving an assemblage of three or more persons who by disorderly and violent conduct or the imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct results in injury or damage to persons or property or creates a clear and present danger of injury or damage to persons or property.
Source: CMPD Interactive Directives Guide 900-015 Page Section 111 Paragraph I.