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Thursday, December 1, 2011


With the information clamp-down at CMPD, News Channel 14's Katie Gaier was left to interview an employee of a private local security company to get any comment about the function of the same new TASERs we taxpayers just spent a couple million dollars to purchase.  She was also able to reach the VP of Communication for TASER, but she reported that the shipment of new TASERs has arrived, but an unknown number of those units has been redistributed, pointing out her sources told her officers trained with the new X-2 unit, but:

Some of the TASERs were not distributed at the end of training because of “an issue.”

CMPD refused to comment about this, according to Geier, and

“Mayor Anthony Foxx said to contact City Council because they approved the funding.  And City Manager Curt Walton said to contact CMPD because he didn’t have an update on the transition.  CMPD ordered an internal and external review that led to the approval of the funds.”   

The buck-passing continues.  Mayor Foxx and Curt Walton backing Chief Monroe in refusing to give information to the public continues. 

CMPD, with support of City of Charlotte attorneys, still refuses to give information about the CMPD internal TASER review, the external review for which citizens paid $69,000 to PERF (Police Executive Research Forum) or the contract irregularities.  CMPD Attorney Judy Emken sent a very strange response to regarding legitimate questions about the missing dates on the contracts, statements she made about signing the contracts, and related issues.  She also refuses providing reasonable answers or correct contract information.  Another thing they won’t release is a separate contract that would allow advertising for TASER.  Promotional pieces for TASER have taken place, but the paragraph requiring approval for this seems to be meaningless.

Now the Mayor, City Council, City Manager Walton and the rest are refusing to disclose or investigate irregularities surrounding the TASER deal.  Please read the last post for details, but Emken said contracts were not signed, when either they had been already, or they were back-dated.  Also, the PERF contract for the external review that was supposed to take place prior to purchase had no effective date on it, and was signed by Assistant City Manager Eric Campbell the same day as the TASER purchase contract.

When Judy Emken finally responded in part about the contract irregularities, she seemed determined to claim there is no problem—except on the part of the questions asked—and has refused any information.  She sent this strange email:

-----Original Message-----
From: Emken, Judy <>
To: (name, requested) Cunningham, Brian <>; Walton, Curt <>; McMillan, Kimberly A. <>; Shah-Khan, Mujeeb <>; Gaskins, Greg <>; Monroe, Rodney <>
Sent: Fri,
Nov 4, 2011 2:18 pm
Subject: RE: correction Re: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST for contracts

I am so sorry that you misunderstood my emails and attachments concerning the contracts that I sent to you as you requested. On October 28th, I sent you the fully executed contracts, filed with the city clerk, while on the 27th, I sent you the copy that was in our files which was not yet executed, in an endeavor to promptly respond to you. My apologizes if this confused you.

There are, however, no other contracts or public documents that are responsive to your public records request.

Again, I am sorry about your confusion and either Captain Cunningham or I would be more than happy to meet with you at your convenience, to attempt to provide some answers to the numerous questions that you have posed, which are not requests for public records, as this might assist to avoid any further confusion on your part.

Again, thank you for your continued interest in the City of Charlotte and the CMPD as we continue to provide the citizens of this community with excellent law enforcement services.

Judith Emken
Senior Assistant City Attorney
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Dept.
601 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Read the reports and contracts for yourself and decide who is “confused.” 

Sent: Fri, Nov 4, 2011 7:38 pm
Subject: Re: correction Re: PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST for contracts

Ms. Emken,

I am in no way confused by what you sent. You clearly stated that the contracts had not been signed on October 27th, then sent contracts on October 28th which had been signed on October 20th. This was the case for two contracts: one for a review that was to take place of taser equipment, then one to purchase new taser equipment. Why would this happen on the same date? Why is there no date at all on one contract? Why were they signed a month later? Why did you tell me they weren't signed when they were--a month late?

I don't want to repeat the rest of my e-mails below, but please respond. Thank you.

This message was sent when Emken still wouldn’t respond:

Mr. Mayor and City Council Members,

Please see the requests, which you are aware of, and responses from CMPD regarding contract issues for the Taser purchase contract and associated PERF contract. There is no date on one contract. Both were signed at least a month after the "effective date," and Ms. Emken incorrectly wrote they had not been signed yet. Or, maybe she was correct that they were had not been signed yet on October 27, but the contracts were then dated and signed by Mr. Campbell after the date I was told, but with his date and signature showing October 20, 2011.

The excuse given by Ms. Emken for these facts I have stated includes how she is sorry that I am "confused." She makes this statement three times in her e-mail as if to attempt to make some impression, rather than take responsibility for the very delayed public records and then the irregular contracts, as outlined. It seems that personnel in your legal department and the City Manager's office are very confused. Please provide an explanation for the contract irregularities outlined. That would clear up any "confusion" Ms. Emken and the others have created with the changing dates on contracts and the rest.

Each of you voted for this Taser, Inc. purchase on the evening after Taser came for a meeting which seems to have been in recognition of a sale to CMPD.

Were there other private meetings with Council/Mayor Foxx to approve the sale prior to the vote?

Why isn't there a date on the contract? When were the Tasers actually ordered? When will they arrive? When were the others shipped back (if they have already been shipped)?

When did PERF begin their review and when will it be complete (or is it already complete)? Where is the report from PERF?

Is it acceptable, typical, and legal to sign a contract a month after the effective date?

This is a very serious issue involving $1.8 million dollars and probable future sales of many other components. If the contracts were not done properly, this all needs to be changed. If the contracts were done properly, then it should be fairly easy and quick to answer these questions. Please write and tell me your findings. Thank you for your time.

Several more inquiries later, Peggy Huffman in the Mayor’s office sent this:

Sent: Wed, Nov 30, 2011 3:23 pm
Subject:  Taser Contract problems

(name, request):

I am sorry that you are dissatisfied with the responses you have and have not received regarding your requests. I would encourage you to continue to work with CMPD.

Thank you,

Peggy Huffman
Administrative Officer
Office of the Mayor
City of Charlotte
600 East Fourth Street
Charlotte, North Carolina
And after asking again for a response from the Mayor instead of his administrative assistant, none has been provided.  It seems Mayor Foxx is using his assistant to shield him, but this must change.

X-26 TASERs were taken out of use when a man died after being shot by a CMPD officer who responded to 911 reports at the Charlotte Light Rail station that the man was beating a woman and tried.  One statement by Monroe was that this occurred while the man would not stop beating the woman.  Other reports say this happened while he tried to flee.  This incident took place within 24 hours of an announcement regarding a judgment against TASER for $10 million because of an incident where a CMPD officer tased a 17-year old male for 37 seconds because the teenager was disruptive while knocking some items over at his workplace.  He was allegedly upset over being fired for stealing some snack food.  The City of Charlotte had to pay $625,000 as well.   The officer who continued tasing the teen for 37 seconds received several hours of suspension.

When Chief Monroe talked to City Council about the need for funding a different couple-million-dollar project he had in mind, it’s clear there were issues at least surrounding the advertising of a product and company he was pitching, even though he had a prior relationship with the company. 

Here’s a glossy full-page ad in “Police Chief Magazine” October, 2010 for the same “predictive analytics” company starring three police chiefs, including our own Chief Rodney Monroe. Wonder if Information Builders had any agreement regarding promotional materials?

For all the effort Medlock and Monroe have put into the roadshow for Information Builders about how great it would be to have the information at their fingertips, it doesn’t seem to be true.

The slide presentations of how the system should work for officers look great. In practice, however, it seems those reports are mostly unavailable to officers in their cars. Deputy Chief Harold Medlock’s roadshow of how the system is supposed to work is called into question when the system doesn’t work as presented.  Many officers say it is useless as an in-car application because it takes 20-30 minutes to load, and so they don’t use it.  Instead, car laptops are largely used for emails, checking warrants, and typing reports.

See in this presentation by Deputy Chief Harold Medlock what looks like a great, integrated system that would be helpful. DC Medlock (in charge during this past Memorial Day weekend, and now promoted to be in charge of DNC 2012 Security) and Monroe made lots of assurances about the usefulness to cops on the beat, and about the transparency that would be afforded by the system.  Knowing we paid an extra couple million dollars for all of this data makes it even more frustrating that CMPD continues to refuse release of accurate crime statistics, which are public information.  According to the presentations, all of this data should be at CMPD’s fingertips—ranging from crime statistics, citizen report history to officer history and  other reports.

There should be an investigation into Monroe’s influence into the awarding of the extremely high-cost software system purchased for CMPD.   When Chief Rodney Monroe stood before City Council on February 9, 2009 and talked about he imagined a “predictive analytics” system would work, making no mention or recognition of the fact he had done video (this one back when he was Richmond, VA Police Chief) and print ads for the company at his capacity as Police Chief of Richmond, VA, that should have rung some warning bells.  At best, his lack of disclosure is a concern when presenting to the City Council—and the public—requests for millions of dollars in public funding.  Monroe said at that time:

That is the way of the future. One of the things we are looking to do is to find other funding sources for those technology issues but only technology that allows us to be strategic in how we can prevent crime forcing us into the areas we need to be, forcing us to think about the different crimes we need to be focused on; not technology for the simple sake of having the newest and latest technology, but only that technology that is going to drive us to make us accountable for reducing crime.

We deserve the truth.


  1. The only "confused" people are Cmpd, city council, curt Walton, and the cmpd attorneys.

    I woudn't say so much confused as just plain covering up, lying, and obstructing justice by not releasing information that the public has a right to!!!

  2. Typical kind of junk put out by City blaming the person telling the truth because it makes them look bad.
    Monroe's financial arrangements w/TASER and Information Builders need to be investigated. Probably a much longer list.

  3. how many times has monroe shifted money to his associates? how many dollars?

  4. Well, I'm not confused and it appears the only confusion is coming from CMPD, ALL of the City Council and Curt Walton. Wait, didn't he just get another raise? Wonder if I can get a job where lies prevail and truth is not allowed and still get more money?