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Thursday, December 22, 2011


. . .  ALONG WITH FORMER PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR JULIE HILL… POSITION NOW TAKEN OVER BY Rob Tufano, Captain Brian Cunningham, and possibly others—you know, as a cost-saving measure.
You can look back to this citynewswatch POSTING from October 9th and read the documented year ½ of excuses from CMPD saying their web site was under construction, leaving Charlotte’s residents unable to access Calls for Service, Watch Commander Reports, Significant Event Logs, and more. 

Now citynewswatch has uncovered the original January, 2007 release from former Public Affairs Director for the CMPD Julie Hill, whom Chief Monroe fired when he arrived.  This is a shame, because based on this email, her plans and the open, interactive, customer-based method of handling dissemination of public information regarding the police to the public would have been great.

But the upgrades and even basic information have been permanently removed.  Years later, the department is still doing whatever is necessary to keep true crime data about what’s going on in Charlotte away from the public.  That is the choice—the demand—of Chief Rodney Monroe.  It is also the choice of his boss Walton to let him do it, and of Walton’s bosses, the Mayor and Council, to continue to let him serve as City Manager. 

Of course, there are elections.  But in between elections, please read about the implications of getting true and accurate data—and please write to elected leaders to demand it.  Addresses are to the right.

Read THIS STORY as a jumping off point to see why efforts to misrepresent real crime statistics are such an important issue.

It was the first in what have been six stories on crime statistics so far. 

Please consider writing to Charlotte’s City Manager Curt Walton, Police Chief Rodney Monroe, Mayor Foxx, and the City Council to tell them you want all the Call for Service, Calls for service, Significant Event Log, Correct Uniform Crime Reporting Numbers, as they relate directly to the numbers above, Internal Affairs reports, Minutes of the Civil Service Board, and Complete Police Department Budget available in a convenient way on line.  Right now, they are not available at all, with the exception of some portions of the Budget.

This needs to change.  We are entitled to this information and it’s essential for running the Police Department in a way that would be truly trustworthy.

From: Capt. Mike Adams

Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 4:38 PM


Subject: Redesigned CMPD Web Site & Notify Me Community Sign Up

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is kicking off the new year (and the new district plan) with the launch of its redesigned Web site.  We launched the new site at noon – it’s a “soft launch” (internal promotion only) for a short time so you can see it and we can identify any links or information that needs to be changed.  The goal is to maintain the new site with the most up-to-date information and features to provide you and citizens with timely, accurate info and new services.  This is a new beginning, not an end so log on and browse around! When you find things that need to be fixed, just let me know. 

And if you think of new things we should add, we’d love to hear your ideas.

Now, when Internet users visit, they will find a much more user-friendly site with new services and features.  “It’s easier to use, there’s more information and it’s better looking,” said Police Chief Darrel Stephens. 

While many of the navigational options will be familiar to users, the redesign better organizes information and provides handy features like a drop-down menu with quick links to the most frequently-requested services.    In addition to reorganizing the site’s information, the newly redesigned site provides such new features as:

·         Calls for service just log on to see what kinds of calls for service the department is working.  Because some calls to 911 do not require a police officer or the situation as initially reported turns out to be something else entirely, the system is on a 30-minute delay.  Then, calls for service throughout CMPD’s jurisdiction are posted.  You can see all calls, sort by division and see calls going back up to 8 hours.  “We get calls from neighbors and reporters asking what’s going on,” said Major Marc DeLuca who oversaw the project. “Now, everyone can see basic information about why police officers are at a particular location.” The detail goes down to block ranges.

·         Videos – Crime prevention, CMPD Today episodes and more with the click of a mouse

·         “Notify Me” subscription service – get information sent to you automatically, including a pilot project with the South Division to provide alerts and other division-level information to subscribers

·         News – the latest news and information – no need to wait for a TV newscast!

And there’s more!  Take a look around, let us know what you think!

The redesign was done using in-house resources in Corporate Communications and CMPD.

Julie Hill

Public Affairs Office

Saturday, December 17, 2011

CMPD Forced to Tell the Truth by “Whistleblower” and Tragedy

Police arrested 31-year-old Lavatae Evans Thursday just after 12 p.m. on December 15th, 2011 in a S.W.A.T. raid at his mother’s home on Brewton Drive for crimes they say he committed at two locations with three women on the same morning. 

Evans has now been charged with 5 counts of First Degree Sex Offense, one count of Armed Robbery, two counts 2nd Degree Kidnapping, and Possession of a Stolen Firearm for actions allegedly taken early in the morning of December 15th against two women at the Sunset Inn on Equipment Drive for an incident recorded at 5:52 a.m. 

They also charged him with another 1st Degree Sex Offense, 1st Degree Kidnapping, Assault on a Female, and Assault with a Deadly Weapon for actions police say he took just after they told him to leave his voluntary discussion about the first set of crimes.  The S.W.A.T. take down after a three-hour standoff was 12:07 p.m.

That’s not what police told the public until they were forced to tell the truth.

At first, police had reported Evans had committed a sexual assault, kidnapping, and other crimes “while they were looking for” him on charges for sexual assaults on two other women earlier the same morning at a hotel on Equipment Drive.  But that turned out not to be quite true.

Police already knew where Evans was because they had him at the police station and told him to go before collecting evidence readily available to them.  More accurately, they had a non-custodial, voluntary chat with him while the two alleged victims of numerous felony counts police were supposed to investigate were at the hospital being checked out. reports that Evans’ record includes priors for convictions of drug possession and second-degree kidnapping. Evans was arrested in connection with a 1997 incident and charged with first-degree rape of a child, first-degree sex offense against a child, kidnapping and robbery. The rape and kidnapping charges were dismissed, records show, but he was convicted on the robbery charge. For the sex offense charge, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge: Felony Crime Against Nature.

Multiple news outlets, including WSOCTV report Evans has been arrested seven times on numerous charges in the past year-and-a-half, which can be confirmed on the Sheriff’s web site.

The Charlotte Observer reported police said “Foster said that as a result of the inconsistent statements, police didn't have sufficient evidence to charge Evans while he was at the Law Enforcement Center. She said investigators can't rely only on a victim pointing out a suspect to make an arrest.”

Here’s one of numerous problems with CMPD’s performance:  WSOCTV’s Natalie Pasquarella interviewed one of the victims in the alleged assault from the first location.  The woman told Pasquarella she had thought she might be killed—that Evans had threatened the two women with a gun and she had been forced to run half-dressed out of the hotel room to get away from him.  WSOC Team Reporter Linzi Sheldon had tried to obtain a copy of the surveillance tape from the hotel, but the hotel employee said he needed to keep it for police evidence.  See their team report here.  This occurred AFTER the voluntary discussion, AFTER he was released for supposed insufficient evidence to arrest on charges for the first two women, AFTER Evans allegedly kidnapped and forced oral sex on another woman in his mother’s home, caused a S.W.A.T. raid and standoff that ended in his arrest.  The hotel still seemed to have the video during Sheldon’s report in the afternoon.  Not the police.

And if a man with Evans’ record of charges for First-Degree Rape of a Child, First-Degree Sex Offense Against a Child, Kidnapping and Robbery and Felony Crime Against Nature is found hiding in a neighboring hotel room after two women run partially-clothed from their room to get away from him and a gun, you should probably keep him there at least as long as he is willing to stay.  You should probably at least ask him if he is willing to stay as long as it takes you to fetch the hotel security video and take a look.  You should probably at least ask why he was hiding in another room—which would be on the video as well. 

And you really shouldn’t lie about what you did after another woman is kidnapped and sexually assaulted once you let him go (allegedly).

At a CMPD press conference December 16th, Major Vicki Foster admitted,

“We allowed him to leave. He did not ask to leave.”

The press conference was also attended by Chief Rodney Monroe, Deputy Chief Harold Medlock, Deputy Chief Katrina Graue, Deputy Chief Kerr Putney and others, who didn’t have anything to say.  Foster also said, “He was here voluntarily and therefore he was free to leave and he could leave any time.”

You can see parts of the CMPD press conference and a partial statement from one of the women from the Sunset Inn at this WSOCTV report.  She says “I pointed to him and I thought they took him off to jail. I don’t why would they release somebody like that?”

Someone anonymously alerted the media that the CMPD story claiming they were “looking for” Evans while he allegedly committed yet another kidnap and sexual assault was completely false.  Here is the content of the letter:

To whom ever will listen,

The information you have received from CMPD concerning the arrest and actions of Lavantae Evans is not completely true.  They have lied in an effort to cover up their mistakes which lead to an innocent person being sexually assaulted and held against her will.  Police responded to the Sunset Inn at 5301 Equipment Dr around 6 a.m. on 12/15/2011.  During this altercation Evans was named and positively identified as a suspect in the kidnapping and rape of two female subjects.  Evans was found hiding in another hotel room a few doors down from where the assault took place.  Once Evans was located he was positively identified as the person who raped and kidnapped the two women. He was then voluntarily transported to the Law Enforcement Center to be questioned by detectives.  At some point Evans was allowed to leave police custody and not charged with the rape and kidnapping of the first two women.  After being allowed to leave police custody he then kidnapped and raped another woman which led to the police standoff with the SWAT team responding. It was only after Evans was involved in the raping and kidnapping of third woman that detectives went and obtained warrants for his arrest for the first two women that he assaulted.  CMPD completely failed in this incident and allowed a dangerous, violent and disturbed individual to walk the streets and a few hours later lead to the rape of another woman that could have been completely prevented.  Please, I implore you to dig harder and see that the information released to you by CMPD is not true in its entirety. All that I have said is documented and available for public record. Please look more into this story and report the truth about what happened with Mr. Evans and CMPD's failure to protect this community.

Thank goodness someone brought this to the attention of the public in a way that couldn’t completely be covered up internally.  There’s too much of that activity going on in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and Charlotte Citizens are paying for it—literally and figuratively.  Lives and lawsuits are at stake.  Both are stacking up.  Mayor Foxx and the City Council continue to ignore the problems, refusing completely to address issues brought to them, and in fact giving a raise to City Manager Curt Walton in the midst of his management of the Police Department with Police Chief Rodney Monroe firmly at the helm.

Thank you to the writer of the letter about this horrible situation.  Please continue writing.

Thank you to all those who have written to citynewswatch.  Please continue to bring issues forward.

Friday, December 9, 2011


An opinion piece in the Lincoln-Times News Public’s Business Belongs in Public  they say this about violating public record law and the duty of city officials to be open and to follow the law:

North Carolina law and common sense regarding the function of a democratic society require that discussions by our elected officials, even the Lincolnton City Council, be conducted in open session.

A few exceptions — we would say too many — are allowed under North Carolina law. Even so, in no case do those exceptions ever include taking action in closed session. Yet the City Council erred twice in this regard during last week’s meeting.

Certain issues can be discussed in closed session. But statutes are clear in requiring that actions, even regarding matters that can be discussed away from the eyes and the ears of the people, be taken in open session for all to see. Board members must stand up and be counted. To do otherwise is an offense against the citizens who have a right to know what their government is up to, so that they can vote more intelligently.

The City Council acted inappropriately in voting on City Manager Jeff Emory’s contract during closed session, though it’s not clear that members had any improper intent. Regardless, we urge the city to redress this situation by issuing a statement to local news media explaining the breakdown of votes.

The second error in acting during closed session is far more serious because it also appears to be an effort to silence critics.
.   .   .

The law requires that the members specify which exceptions to open meetings laws are being applied when they go into closed session. It’s not enough to close the meeting, saying they’re going to discuss Emory’s contract, and then do whatever else they want.

.   .   .

But whatever the council does, it needs to be done where everyone can see it. Let’s conduct the public’s business in public.

Charlotte has a problem with conducting the public’s business in public.  If that weren’t the case, they would give records answering what the City and the CMPD are doing. 

The Mayor and Council members should be asking questions.  Mayor Foxx was with the entire City Council on October 10th when Deputy Police Chief Katrina Graue stood before them and explained that they couldn’t find 50 brand new police cars.  They proceeded to vote to approve another $5 million to buy more police cars, after Graue had finished explaining much of that money would go toward buying cars the Police Department didn’t want to buy.

If Graue was truthful about being unable to locate 50 police cars, that would be a huge security risk.  Nobody seems to care, including City Manager Curt Walton and Police Chief Rodney Monroe.  Monroe is charged with securing the city when Democrats and our President come to town in less than a year.  At this point, the option that they are covering up where those cars really are would be preferable to “unaccounted for.”  Based on history and information from other personnel, it seems more likely that those cars are being driven by people who shouldn’t be driving them.  At the rates Graue stated, this would be about $1,000,000 base price for the cars (minimum) plus almost another million dollars or so to install police equipment.

PRIOR RELATIONSHIPS WITH VENDORSThis equipment would include a computer system that most patrol officers say isn’t useable or at least useful because it takes up to half an hour to boot up.  So laptops in cars are primarily used for emails, checking warrants, and writing reports.  The system was purchased after Chief Rodney Monroe spoke to City Council and explained that he believed the so-called predictive analysis would be the wave of the future and should be explored.  He wanted to explore that as well as look for funding.  But it turns out Monroe had already explored thoroughly in his last job.   The contract for very complicated software to combine thirteen different data source systems and produce a utility for CMPD officers went to a company he did business with in Richmond, VA as Police Chief after only a few months of searching for vendors and processing RFP's.   Monroe had a prior relationship with the contract winner.

The contract worth millions was given to Information Builders.  Chief Monroe has participated in print ads, video promotions, and on-line promotions for this company—as CMPD Chief.  He did the same as Richmond’s Police Chief, so there seems to be no viable reason he didn’t bring this up when he was asking Council for more of our money to go to a company he has done business with. 

Again, Walton, Foxx, and City Council have done nothing publicly to investigate this troubling set of circumstances.

Back when he was planning to come here to be Police Chief, Monroe spokewith Tom Roussey.

Monroe says he believes strongly in not running a secretive police department. He wants to be transparent and build relationships with the public.

"The better you improve upon your ability to impart information, the greater your chances are of obtaining information," he explained.

But Monroe has used his staff (paid by Charlotte’s citizens) to insulate himself from answering questions and denied the public access to information that belongs to the public.  And he continues to be supported in this by Walton and the rest.

Either Walton, Council, and the Mayor didn’t get our money’s worth on Monroe’s background check, or they knew everything and hired him anyway. 

Since then, the department has been in trouble for a long list of reasons, including hiring Marcus Jackson as police officer even though he had two prior restraining orders, one denoting he was not permitted to use a gun.  He was retained as a police officer even though he had two reprimands for lying on reports.  Some have asked whether Monroe intervened to keep him on the force.  Monroe first stated he only knew about one disciplinary action.  Then the documents showed up proving he had been notified of at least two, prior to his statement. 

City taxpayers have had to pay millions already over the sexual assaults committed by this officer hired with a history of trouble against women.  Jackson was convicted of his crimes, but got off with what many consider a light sentence for a uniformed police officer who tracked down susceptible people to assault, such as a teenager and Hispanic people whom he may have thought vulnerable.

All of the bad information coming out of CMPD and the efforts to keep public information secret cause questions about what happened at the CMPD Training Academy.  CMPD attorneys first denied, then partially admitted there was an investigation by the State agency within the Department of Justice to find out what happened to purportedly hundreds of officers’ records from the Academy.  They have refused to say how many, but fingerprint cards, medical records, and other police records have been “discovered missing.”  Monroe’s people and City politicians won’t tell when they were last known to be intact, either. 

Monroe must be wishing all the records were “lost” before any number of lawsuits he has been named in. 

In order to investigate his own department regarding this problem with missing police records, Monroe reportedly hired recently-retired CMPD officer Gary McFadden, his close associate for the job. 

Everyone knows government agencies don’t have a good track record of investigating themselves.  This should be done by personnel with NO association to Monroe or CMPD.

Again, City politicians seem to have zero interested in this security risk, this threat to officers’ certifications, and this display of incompetent record security. 

First, the CMPD refused to explain the contract irregularities involved in the TASER deal.

Next, the $2 million worth of TASERS which were supposed to be “safer” because of a five-second time limit per shot were shipped to CMPD.  The brand new TASERS don’t work properly, so they are still not being distributed.  Deputy Chief Graue tried to put a good face on things, though, saying the new TASERS needed a “software upgrade” instead of admitting they don’t function as specified contract that came about with questionable timing.

City Council voted to approve the TASER purchase after TASER, Inc. threw a luncheon and all-day meeting for CMPD Brass to train them on legal issues, dealing with the press, and more.

Maybe they were preparing for this shipment of TASERS that doesn’t function properly.

All the while, Monroe has received unquestioned support from local politicos who often trumpet the drop in reported crime rates.  This reported drop has happened since Monroe removed all public access to the real crime information and won’t reinstate it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Rodney Monroe has promoted (at least it’s being called a promotion) the following Charlotte Mecklenburg  Police officers to the rank of Lieutenant.

This is another position not created in the CMPD Directives, which are supposed to govern every action taken by CMPD officers, including Rodney Monroe.

RAC Sergeants (many of whom are now-former-RAC Sergeants and included on the list below) have been the subject of much controversy of late because Monroe and the Department, and the City of Charlotte have made their position in recent court proceedings that the RAC Sergeant position never really existed and was a temporary position in name only.   The Position of RAC Sergeant was never in the Directives, and other positions in the past were never included in the Directives.

A judge ruled against rationales put forth by Monroe and the City last week, in favor of Sgt. Tammy Hatley, ruling in part that Hatley had been denied due process because she was in fact demoted from a postion to which she had been promoted in 2008 and without the due process afforded her according to CMPD Directives.  The judge ordered a jury to decide damages.  Reports are that the case has moved to settlement discussions.

This seems like a very strange time to put out a statement promoting people to another rank not established.  And here’s another case of putting off a promotion ceremony with no expected date.  Last time it took months.  Why?  And is there more to come this round?

Readers may want to see what City Manager Curt Walton had to say earlier this year.

From: Graue, Katrina

Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 5:02 PM

To: _CMPD everyone

Subject: Promotion to Lieutenant

Please join me in congratulating the following sergeants who were approved for promotion to the rank of lieutenant by the Civil Service Board. Details on assignments and a promotional ceremony will follow.

Sgt. Tonya Arrington
Sgt. Rich Austin Jr.
Sgt. Todd Blum
Sgt. Eric Brady
Sgt. Jackie Bryley
Sgt. Ryan Butler
Sgt. Joe Carey IV
Sgt. Lisa Carriker
Sgt. Casey Carver
Sgt. Travis Childs
Sgt. Spencer Cochran
Sgt. David Cristy
Sgt. Shawn Crooks
Sgt. Bill Cunningham Jr.
Sgt. Robert Dance
Sgt. Roseann DeTommaso
Sgt. Rod Farley
Sgt. Brian Foley
Sgt. Norman Garnes Jr.
Sgt. Todd Garrett
Sgt. Jeff Harless
Sgt. Andrew Harris
Sgt. Blake Hollar
Sgt. Steve Huber
Sgt. Jackie Hulsey
Sgt. Jim Hummel
Sgt. Dave Johnson
Sgt. Nathan King
Sgt. Pamela Lisenby
Sgt. Todd Lontz
Sgt. David Moorefield Jr.
Sgt. James Morrison
Sgt. Fred Newell
Sgt. Travis Pardue
Sgt. Mark Santaniello
Sgt. Kenneth Schul
Sgt. Jonathan Thomas
Sgt. John Thornton
Sgt. James Wright

Deputy Chief Katrina Graue
Administrative Services Group
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
601 E. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here's How the NEW $1.82 Million TASERS Don't Function Properly

citynewswatch has received a memo sent from CMPD regarding the malfunctioning TASERS we just bought for at least $1.8 Million dollars.  These TASERS were supposed to be in use by now.  They were supposed to replace the last TASERS which were perfectly useable and no more unsafe than the sales pitch for the new TASERS except that you had to take your finger off the trigger and stop TASING someone after a few seconds on your own, instead of having software that does it for you.

Now it is known that the so-called safety feature limiting the time an officer can shoot someone with the TASER 15,000 volts is not functioning properly, and there will have to be a “software upgrade.”


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department continues to move forward with TASER X2 training to issue the new electronic control weapon to our officers.    The department  is constantly  reviewing  upgrades to the TASER X2 to satisfy the CMPD’s requirements that the deployment cycle is limited to five seconds for the probes and the Arc Switch.    The CMPD requested TASER International upgrade the software in the CMPD TASER X2 to limit the Arc Switch to five seconds.

The software upgrade does not impact classroom instruction on the electronic control weapon, policies and procedures for more than 1,700 CMPD officers.  The training is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011 and the TASER X2 will be distributed to our officers when the software is upgraded. 

Deputy Chief Katrina Graue

Administrative Services Group
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
601 E. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

With the current software problem, the user can push a button to cause an arc of electricity without removing the TASER cartridge as you had to do before with the X-26 model TASER (you could still do what is called a “drive stun” with the cartridge in place if you wanted to). 

The arc would be used for a daily functionality test of the TASER and as a warning to a suspect or as a compliance technique. The arc was supposed to only last 5 seconds but now it is found that it would continue as long as one held the trigger. 

There goes the main stated purpose for spending $1.82 million tax dollars with a company that uses the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department sale to advertise the new X-2 model…

Note there is no timetable on fixing the faulty TASERS, just a vague assurance that the TASERS will be in use next year. 

No wonder the City and CMPD continue to refuse information about their contract associations and irregularities.  The public can’t get a straight answer about anything. 

See this previous post explaining how the City and CMPD won’t explain the contract problems regarding the TASER investigation and purchase contract.  Maybe buying the TASERS on the same day you start a consultant’s review is part of the problem.Also see for some similar information received and his take on things.  Read a few CMPD stories—and the comments about what is happening within CMPD, all approved by his bosses who allow it to go on.  See the real list of homicides in Charlotte, which have come at an average rate of 1 every 48 hours.  This is not what most people call safe.

When can we have the real crime numbers from CMPD?

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.