CMPD has released the body and dash cam footage in the Keith Lamont Scott shooting investigation. The video was released days after protesters demanded that the footage be made public.
At a press conference in advance of releasing the video, Police Chief Kerr Putney said police became concerned with Scott because they became aware he was “in possession of marijuana” and then saw a gun in his car. He wasn’t specific or offering many more details other than Scott wasn’t “smoking” marijuana but was “in possession” of it. And that, apparently, made the possession of an alleged gun illegal.
What’s unclear is how the police became “aware” of the marijuana in Scott’s possession if he was inside his car? And, if he wasn’t brandishing his gun, how did the police become aware of that? Did they lean into the window of his car?
I think there are many more questions to be raised after today.
Interesting – at the :43 mark you hear one officer ask the other “You on?” I’m guessing he’s wondering if his body cam was on?
Last year, 120,000 people made it to Uptown for the Pride celebration. This year, organizers estimated closer to 200,000 people went to the Festival and Parade, including more than 3,500 marchers in the Parade. “This is amazing energy. This just brings you up so much,” said David Pable, one of the marchers.
The Charlotte Pride Festival and Parade aren’t just about the attendance records for the LGBT community. Instead, it has become a safe haven for free expression.
“You see all the people out here enjoying Pride and celebrating who they are, and have a chance to truly be who they are,” said Michelle Money, who went to both the Parade and Festival.
Because of the growth of both events, they were declared extraordinary events for the first time ever, meaning a larger police presence was required. There was pushback by Charlotte Pride, but worries were eased after discussions with CMPD.
The Charlotte City Council has approvede an LGBT nondiscrimination bill on Monday night in a 7 to 4 vote.
The Charlotte ordinance, which is slated to take effect in April, bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in housing and places of public accommodation. (State law does not allow cities to ban workplace discrimination.)
“The City Council’s vote today sends a clear message that discrimination has no place in Charlotte,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Everyone, regardless of who they are, should have the legal right to feel safe in their community, and we commend the City Council for standing with us on the side of fairness and equality in the Queen City.”
Gov. Pat McCrory has previously stated that state lawmakers could “immediately” take action to block the law in a Sunday email to city officials.
This development makes Charlotte the latest center for the LGBT movement where nondiscrimination laws have struggled since winning marriage equality won at the Supreme Court last June.
After a contentious meeting on Monday, Charlotte City Council voted down the most controversial ordinance it has considered in years, a nondiscrimination proposal that would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to protected categories.
The measure failed 6-5, after a marathon meeting that featured hours of emotional debate and comments from supporters and opponents. Council members Michael Barnes, Kenny Smith, LaWana Mayfield, Ed Driggs, John Autry and Greg Phipps voted against it.
Before the final vote, council members had removed the section of the ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. That issue drew the most vigorous opposition from dozens of speakers.
The city council of Charlotte, North Carolina, is considering today whether to add five characteristics – marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression – to protected classes already listed in the city’s public accommodations.
First, it would make it illegal in Charlotte for taxi drivers, restaurants, or any commercial business from discriminating against customers who are gay, lesbian or transgendered.
Seventeen states and more than 200 cities and counties across the country have enacted similar laws. It makes sense for Charlotte to do the same, says Chris Sgro, executive director of the gay and transgender rights group Equality NC.
After all, he says Charlotte is one of the 20 largest cities in the country, “and of the top 20 population cities in the country,” he says, “all of them but Memphis, Jacksonville and Charlotte have these protections.”
Under Charlotte’s proposed ordinance, companies found to discriminate would be subject to a fine and could be barred for two years from getting any city contracts.
Opponents say passing the ordinance isn’t fair because it would mean they would be prohibited from discriminating against gays, and that businesses might have to treat all customers fairly. Apparently, the act of baking a cake or selling flowers for a wedding now constitutes “promoting” same-sex marriage. I wonder if providing a cake for a second or third marriage (we know how the Bible feels about divorce) also promotes un-Biblical acts?
You can listen to the city council meeting live here. But, I’ll warn you, the anti-gay folks are certain to get ugly.
I’ll post Twitter updates as the evening goes along.
Nearly all of the first 30 speakers are speaking against #cltequality ordinance. Most don't live in #clt. Most associated w/ Benhams.— QNotes (@qnotescarolinas) March 2, 2015
In advance of his hate rally tomorrow outside the chamber of the Charlotte City Council, David Benham pens this op-ed published by the Charlotte Observer.
“Do you enjoy the freedom to live according to your conscience without being forced to promote ideas or behaviors contrary to your convictions? Do you believe men should be prohibited from using women’s restrooms? Should a gay T-shirt maker be forced to create anti-gay marriage T-shirts? Should a Muslim baker be mandated to make a gay wedding cake? That’s exactly what this ordinance will do if passed. There are two obvious and disturbing common sense aspects to this provision. First, by allowing transgendered males to enter women’s restrooms our City is forcing all women, including mothers and daughters, to be put in uncomfortable situations in the privacy of bathrooms, locker and shower rooms.
“Second, it opens the door for male heterosexual predators to pose as women under the guise of being transgender. Remember, being transgendered is a psychological state of mind that anyone can claim, no matter what clothes they wear. From Los Angeles, Milwaukee and Olympia, Wash., there are real examples of heterosexual men dressing like women and entering women’s rooms with intent to commit crimes. Historically, civil rights have never been provided to protect behaviors or psychological states of mind.”
Speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, David Benham also revealed he had found the “cure” to homosexuality:
“We had so many people from the gay community reaching out to us and one man in particular from the city of Chicago reached out — and he said things to me that made me lose my appetite,” said Said David Benham to a crowd at the National Religious Broadcasters convention recently. “But I simply responded in love.”
“After a little conversation back and forth, I found out he loved baseball … and I got him tickets to a Cubs game,” Benham continued. “He shot me a Facebook post and said, ‘I was not expecting that — and I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ve chosen to walk away from my lifestyle.’”
There. Like magic. Tickets to a Cubs game. Who’d have ever thought?