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Thursday, January 26, 2012



Maybe the Federal Scrutiny that should come with the Democratic National Convention 2012 coming to Charlotte will be exactly what the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department needs. 

Yesterday’s article in the Charlotte Observer made it crystal clear that most of City Council and the Mayor are barely paying attention to what City Manager Curt Walton is doing, especially as it relates to oversight of the police department. 

More disturbing, those who commented said they didn’t mind that they had no idea what they had done with their votes or what was going on.

The Observer article states that DNC purchases won’t be coming before a vote or include spending disclosures, which would be the normal procedure, and that the full Council approved this plan to leave the public AND City Council members completely in the dark. 

They voted to give City Manager absolute power over DNC contracting decisions with no oversight.  Even more disturbing, most say they have no memory of doing so.  And it gets worse (if that’s possible):  They say they’re fine with not remembering granting this absolute power to operate in secrecy with $50 Million to form a police state in any way Walton and his sidekick Rodney Monroe see fit.

The Observer quotes Santiago Corrada, Chief of Staff for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, as saying by contrast, “We have a vetting process for those purchases."

Tracy Montross, assistant for Mayor Anthony Foxx, released a statement purportedly from Foxx which said “I am not bothered by the discretion given to the City Manager unanimously in a vote by the last City Council.  As the Convention draws closer, we will need to be expeditious in decision making.  Council members know that they are welcome to address any questions to the City manager at any time.”

After what happened with Foxx’s repeated demands through Montross for upgraded travel payments for his trip to China at the end of the year, which he later denied knowing about, it seems Council members were not free to ask any questions at all of the City Manager.  When Andy Dulin tried to ask for explanations of what the Mayor knew and when he knew it, as well as the implications for budgeting for the organization that had received demands, the employees of the City Manager said “no, we won’t tell you” (paraphrased).  That was concerning plane tickets and a much smaller budget than a $50 Million security grant.

Republican City Council member Warren Cooksey told the Observer he didn't realize he had voted in February 2011 to give Walton leeway to grant contracts. He said in retrospect that might not have been the best decision, and that such police spending should be debated in a public forum.  "We are relying on trust," Cooksey said.

Council member David Howard, who is also a Democrat, said he didn't realize he had voted to give the manager spending power. But he's OK with the decision.  "I definitely don't remember that vote, but it doesn't bother me," Howard said.  He added it's important to give the manager authority to act quickly because the DNC is so complex and important...  If something goes wrong, we won't care about how we did it."

Andy Dulin, the only other Republican on council, said he doesn't remember voting to give the manager spending power.  Dulin said he trusts Walton to "make the right purchases," but said there should be more transparency.  "For intellectual purposes I would like to know what we purchase," Dulin said. "Some of it would be very interesting to taxpayers."

Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon, a Democrat, said he was OK with the purchases not coming before a public vote because he doesn't want protestors to know what equipment the police will be using.

Democrat John Autry, who was elected to council in November, said he didn't want to question the previous council's vote. But he said the police purchases should come before council and be scrutinized by elected officials and the public.

The Observer article went on to give this conflicting information from the City:

·       Walton said Friday that the city is putting the DNC police purchases out to bid.

·       Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann said last week one reason the council gave the manager power to grant contracts was for greater speed and flexibility. Hagemann said the information, however, was public.

·       But the CMPD has refused to disclose what it is buying.     

So, is the information public or do they have a right to keep it secret and let one man make all the calls on $50 Million in contracts?  The City Attorney rightly stated it is public information, but now what will he do to enforce that?


Current investigations into EEOC practices by Police Chief Rodney Monroe will be revealing as personnel are compelled and able to give information regarding the operations of the department.

A judge has already ruled against Chief Monroe, finding he did not follow due process in the case of Sgt. Tammy Hatley. 

IA investigations and background checks that have been initiated on Monroe but not necessarily completed should be verified.  All of the open questions should not be left open, up through and including the representations Monroe made about his educational background and even the experience he has claimed with heading security for national events in Washington, D.C.

There was lack of attention or acquiescence by Walton, Mayor and City Council at the time Monroe was hired—nobody paying attention to his background check either—we need to see what was in it.  WBTV just aired this editorial that he should at least finish his degree, which was a requirement for the job (better four years late than never).

Nobody paid any attention to Monroe’s statements in 2009 that he thought Predictive Analytics would be the wave of the future and something to investigate, when in fact Monroe already had plenty of experience in that area.  He had run a nearly identical computer program and done advertising for the same company who was subsequently awarded a multi-million dollar contract here in Charlotte back when he was Chief of Police in Richmond, VA.  That is a business relationship that needs to be explored.  There are others as well.


The Civil Service Board is made up of seven members:  three appointed by the Mayor, four appointed by the City Council. 

Their duties include

·       Reviewing and approving or rejecting applications for positions in both the Police and Fire Departments.

·       Reviewing and approving or rejecting promotions in both the Police and Fire Departments.

·       Holding hearings for employees in both departments charged with violations

Chief Monroe called a special meeting of the Civil Service Board on Tuesday (January 24th, 2012) for the sole purpose of putting forth promotions.  Cedarposts reported on the secretly-held meeting which lasted under 15 minutes.  There was no other business conducted and a strange internal announcement was made within CMPD that there would be a promotion ceremony on Friday, but no names were given (as they normally would be).  Perhaps the names on the list would cause disruption among rank and file. 

Civil Service Board Agenda
Special Meeting
January 24, 2012
CMGC, Room 701
4:00 p.m.

1. Call Meeting to Order

2. Approve Agenda

3. Approve Police Promotions

4. Adjourn

Why, in this time where budgets are short and Monroe and City Manager Curt Walton keep telling the officers on the street there’s no money for raises would there be an emergency need to promote what is rumored to be brass-level employees—again?  And why is Monroe doing it in secret, special manner again?  Were these jobs vetted and was everyone considered according to experience, accomplishments, ability to lead, integrity, and other fair factors? 

It seems if that were the case, there wouldn’t be a need to do it in a secret way.

The writer of Cedarposts made this editorial suggestion about the suggested promotion this week of Major Victoria D. Foster to Deputy Chief Foster, after explaining that she has been earning only $2,000 less per year than Deputy Chief pay anyway—way out of line than her “peers” as Major:

Those who know Chief Monroe report that while Foster's promotion to DC had been promised long ago that Chief had repeatedly looked for a solid reason to promote her. As months passed he became more frustrated finally just opting to press the issue.


Looking back at regular meetings of the Civil Review Board, there doesn’t seem to be much time devoted to qualifications considering how critical the backgrounds and qualifications of our Fire and Police Civil Servants are.

It also seems that what used to be a solid review of backgrounds may now be relegated to a review of summaries put forth by recruiters, but it is difficult to tell.

At one meeting last year, the CRB reviewed 35 recruits, went into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence and fitness of prospective Police applicants” for three candidates (indicating a possible hitch in the application), whom they ultimately approved, approved minutes from previous meeting, discussed “numerous typos evident in the packets”,  “provided a weighted explanation of the factors involved in the police recruit hiring process”, explained how many recruits would be in the next class, and “summarized the ethnic diversity of the class.”  There was an update on upcoming hearings.

All of this was accomplished in 32 minutes.

Should the public be surprised at the quality level of SOME of the police recruits and the police force we are left with, considering the depth of review associated?

What was the “weighted explanation of the factors involved in the police recruit hiring process?”  The document that is called the MINUTES of the meeting is not actually minutes of the meeting.  It is instead a sort of running commentary on what happened.  There is no explanation, for example, on what factors are receiving extra weight in the recruitment process.  Are there “weighted factors” involved in promotion decisions as well?

For years, Monroe and his recruiting staff have denied that any standards have been lowered to allow any recruits into the Police Academy.  This statement and others in the partial minutes call that into question.

There is no identifying name of the company responsible for doing background checks, or background check transcripts, or both—with numerous typos.  There’s no statement on exactly what the typos were about, how serious the implications of mistakes, or how they were discovered.  Are they about something significant?  Have they been corrected?  Have the checks been improved or the company replaced?  Is anyone reviewing the packets?  Or are these among the ones Monroe and DC Graue say disappeared from the Academy last year?

.   .   .

If you have read any other posts by citynewswatch, this next statement will be superfluous, but will be stated nonetheless:  There are many, many highly-qualified, highly-trained, very capable, thoughtful, brave, intelligent, caring men and women who work long hours in difficult and often life-threatening conditions who are sacrificing for each of us.  That sacrifice is appreciated and admired without reservation. 

Even officers working who haven’t earned all the other accolades are working in the same unpredictable and dangerous conditions as officers who deserve the respect and trust that always used to come automatically with a badge. 

When standards are lowered, the same officers who shouldn’t be out there must be relied on not just to protect and serve citizens, but each other. 

If officers think they’re keeping their collective jobs safe by keeping the thin blue line intact, consider what happens when you call for backup. 

When the Chief of Police keeps making end-runs around the process:

·       by making unprecedented use of the “Rule of Fives” to choose among officers that wouldn’t normally have been promoted,

·       by setting up tests to be 20% written and 80% oral with his already-chosen staff,

·       by having been proven in court to deny due process to his RAC Sgt (whom he previously credited with what he has claimed are significant drops in crime he has achieved),

·       and more issues among his staff…

well, it’s just not good for morale.  And that’s not good for officer safety.  And that’s not good for anyone’s safety.


At the CRB meeting on March 1, 2011, Dan Tran and another officer were introduced as new members of the Recruiting Staff.  These introductions and the review and approval of 14 new police recruits took less than 11 minutes.   Dan Tran has now been cited for termination as of December 22nd, 2011, and will be able to appeal to this same Review Board, but was arrested in Lowell, Massachusetts for what police say was assault with a dangerous weapon.

Another really strange meeting was called on January 4, 2011 and lasted only 4 minutes, during which two officers were approved to be promoted to Sergeant, but Deputy Chief Graue explained that these along with others recently approved by the board would take place some time in the near future—maybe in February.  It’s unclear whether this was a management flub that they weren’t included earlier or some other reason. 

Civil Service Board minutes on June 7, 2011 include discussion about the unacceptable number of typos in the material brought by the Police Recruitment Division regarding the background of each candidate.  “Mr. Anderson wanted the out-sourced vendor who provides these packets to provide work free of errors.”

During the July 5, 2011 meeting, Captain Smith provided race and gender information for all applicants.  One applicant was presented in October, but had been presented in September as well.  No explanation was given.  Two applicants were pulled and a motion made “to go into closed session, pursuant to subsection (a)(6) of NC General 143-318.11 to consider the qualifications, competence and fitness of prospective Police applicants,” which usually indicates some potential problem with their employment.  However, after returning from closed session, both applicants were approved.  

There are other notes of officers with disciplinary actions and deferred hearings.



The total time taken to discuss and review the issues is unnerving.  The mistakes in the background information presented by the recruiting department are troubling.  The unexpected meetings for special promotions when Chief Monroe decides there should be extra promotions are a concern. 

What oversight is there of the Police Department activities?

City Manager Curt Walton is supposed to oversee Monroe’s actions, and the City Council and Mayor are supposed to oversee what Walton is doing.  But we saw clearly in referenced  Charlotte Observer that most of the City Council is barely paying attention to the votes they’re casting, the power they’re giving away, the money they’re committing, or any actions Curt Walton is taking—particularly when it comes to Rodney Monroe.

Several also said they didn’t mind that they weren’t paying any attention and didn’t know what was going on.  They said it was “a matter of trust” with Walton. 

Blind trust is not the answer.  The stupefying responses of City Council regarding out-of-control, secretive spending of $50 Million by the Police Department after some of them “realized” they had voted to give Walton absolute power to cede contracts in secret any way he sees fit should not be tolerated by Charlotte. 

Allowing the rest of Charlotte’s Police Department operate in total secrecy with no oversight in personnel matters, no oversight in numerous contract issues, no oversight in unusual “charity” setups with money by the Chief and his cohorts, no oversight for the 50 brand new police cars CMPD stated are missing, no oversight for the hundreds of police officers’ personal records CMPD has admitted are missing from the Police Academy, and more.

Maybe we know the answer for this now:  City Council is not paying attention, and they say they’re fine with that.

Are you?

Thursday, January 19, 2012



Charlotte-Mecklenburgpolice said the number of crimes dropped 7.1 percent in 2011, a development that Chief Rodney Monroe credited to several factors, and largely to officers keeping a close eye on potential criminals before they struck.

Charlotte’s Police Chief Rodney Monroe held a press conference 1/17/12 to announce that crime was down again, with a particularly astounding drop of 18% in Captain Martha Dozier’s Providence Division.  The numbers are nearly unbelievable. 

Steve Lyttle of the Charlotte Observer reported Monroe’s response to questions about the integrity of his reported crime reductions was this:

"Look at the homicide numbers, or the number of Crime Stoppers tips coming in. They're coming down. I can't fudge that."

Is Monroe’s logic that there are less Crime Stoppers tips coming in, so he’s not falsifying crime statistics for the entire city?  This seems to be what he said.

Okay, let’s go with that theory.  According to Crime Stoppers, 2011 was a “historic (high) year for the program” with more than 1750 tips—resulting in a record of $34,360 paid to tipsters.  There was apparently tons of criminal activity being reported in Charlotte.  Record highs of criminal activity reported—directly from the source Monroe cites.  It’s okay, Chief Monroe.  Crime Stoppers calls is an absurd basis for analyzing crime anyway.  We want the numbers and the reports.

Monroe also said the police department was “keeping a close eye on potential criminals before they struck” to accomplish lower reported crime rates.  It would be helpful to know how he feels he is going about this, but it doesn’t seem anyone asked.


We do know that current Captain Martha Dozier’s Providence Division displayed at least one diligent example of keeping an eye on potential criminals before they struck back at election time.  When Justine Tobin, a constituent and big campaign donor to Patrick Cannon called to complain that someone had stolen a couple of her “re-elect Cannon” signs, approximate value $7.50 each, from the grass in front of her house she placed a call.  Next, CMPD’s finest from Captain Martha Dozier’s Division were thrown into action—after Cannon placed a phone call to his good friend Rodney Monroe. 

Mark Pellin of Pundit House had received a voice mail from Cannon referencing his knowledge of the incident generally, but saying he couldn’t specifically take credit for what happened with the police roundup.  Pundit house also got an estimate that the multi-day stakeout of several officers with specialized equipment, undercover cars, and remote cameras designed to catch the alleged plastic-sign-stealing-criminals cost a minimum of $15,000 of tax dollars. 

There are rumors of a promotion to come for Captain Martha Dozier, for doing such a great job for Rodney Monroe and the taxpayers.  At least if you are a large campaign contributor to the right people, you can be assured of good service.


Also in the Observer:

Monroe also defended his department's compilation of crime statistics, saying he's "willing to listen" to anyone who can prove the numbers are not accurate.

citynewswatch and numerous others have proof above and beyond the obvious removal of crime information from the public site that Monroe has denied individual public information requests to give the real crime data.  Monroe has refused to explain the proof people have been able to bring forward.  His boss, Curt Walton has refused as well.  All the people who have been notified have taken no public action yet to put an end to this improper handling of public data, which is the minimal problem occurring right now.

When the truth comes out about the hundreds of police officers' records that disappeared out of the Police Academy under his supervision, that will be really hard to answer for as well, considering how many people have been informed all along of the problems.

Monroe’s statements to the press must have been an inside joke of some sort to say he expects someone “to prove” the numbers are not accurate at the same time he is flouting public records law and keeping the proof hidden as much as he is able. 

Despite that, people are coming forward with proof, and exposing what is happening inside the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

.   .   .


Read the entire Code of Ethics for the Mayor and City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, with a link always present on the right column of this blog page.  Below is the most relevant Section 5, followed by one part of the general underlying principles:

The Mayor and Council members should conduct the affairs of the board in an open and public manner.

They should comply with all applicable laws governing open meetings and public records, recognizing that doing so is an important way to be worthy of the public’s trust.

They should remember when they meet they are conducting the public’s business.

They should also remember that local government records belong to the public and not to them or City employees.

In order to ensure strict compliance with the laws concerning openness, the Mayor and Council members should make clear that an environment of transparency and candor is to be maintained at all times in the governmental unit.  They should prohibit unjustified delay in fulfilling public records requests.


The stability and proper operation of democratic reporesentative government depend upon public confidence in the integerity of the government and upon responsible exercise of the trust conferred by the people upon their elected officials.

There is no allowance for public confidence in the integrity of the crime statistics spit out by Rodney Monroe when he refuses to release the data he claims is behind them.  That data belongs to the people; this is clearly spelled out in law.  The absolute requirement of our Mayor and City Council to make sure all public information is released by the City Manager they hired and all other employees of the City (including themselves) is clearly spelled out in the Rules of Ethics, but so far they have not complied.

They will not give the Calls for Service, the Significant Event Logs, the Crime Reports, and other related data in a meaningful way that can be downloaded easily for analysis see what the real level of Crime in Charlotte is.

“Prove it?”

Mr. Monroe, step aside while we do even more of that.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Someone probably known to you shoots 20 rounds of bullets in to your house while you and some other people are inside. You’re hit in the lower back, sending you to the hospital. Police fill out a report that this was:
A) Attempted Murder
B) Assault with a Deadly Weapon
C) Aggravated Assault
If you live in Charlotte, NC and follow conventions instituted to lower the reported crime rate, you might get a police report that says “C,” “Aggravated Assault.”
But the correct answer is not “C.” FBI National UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) rules require a different answer.
When this exact scenario took place on Jan. 18th, 2011, but see the police report below:

Not attempted murder, not assault with a deadly weapon, … police stated they believe the shooter knows the victims. The assumption there is they had intent to hit them with the bullets, not “assault them” with the bullets.
This is just one example of how reports are downgraded in Charlotte. If Ms. Gettys hadn’t gone to the hospital with injuries, she very likely would have received a report that said “Damage to Property,” a common occurrence for bullets into siding, as well as doors and windows that have been broken open. Those bullets into siding should be ADW charges and the doors and windows should be Breaking & Entering Charges.

Has anyone ever dialed “911” and said, “Help! My vehicle is being used in an unauthorized way!” The number is probably pretty low. But the charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle are pretty high. A random sampling done by Cedarposts in this article

CMPD Auto Theft Numbers - Cedar Posts has been looking at arrest reports for the month of October (2010). Funny thing are the numbers of "Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle" charges vs "Larceny of a Motor Vehicle" charges. This sampling which is hardly scientific came up with 29 Unauthorized and 2 Larceny charges. The UUMV is of course a misdemeanor and is not reported as part of the crime stats.
Dumbing down the crime numbers? I'm not sure but it seems there are an awful lot of people "borrowing" their neighbor's cars without permission.
He showed a handful of records in his post, which you can see and pointed out that one of those people had been arrested previously for this unauthorized “borrowing”:
Cedar Bonus: Out of Cedar’s list, he pointed out that Jeff King was arrested for the same offense back in June and included a link to the prior arrest record.

But, Citynewswatch bonus, Baron Johnson from Cedarpost’s list had also been arrested before for UUMV, in addition to at least nine other arrests in the last three years alone for charges of:
Misdemeanor iv-d non-support of child
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Felony c/s-sch ii- possess cocaine
Misdemeanor communicating threats
Felony c/s-sch ii- possess cocaine
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor false imprisonment
Misdemeanor dv protective order violation
Traffic driving while license revoked
Traffic driving while license revoked
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Misdemeanor probation violation
Misdemeanor communicating threats
Misdemeanor dv protective order violation
Misdemeanor probation violation
Misdemeanor communicating threats
Misdemeanor dv protective order violation
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Traffic Driving while license revoked
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Driving while license revoked
Iv-d non-support of child
Iv-d non-support of child
Iv-d non-support of child
Felony carrying concealed weapon - gun (f)
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Misdemeanor drug paraphernalia - possession of
Traffic driving while license revoked
Misdemeanor probation violation

It was easy for Cedar to miss because of a strange name spelling. I’m sure the multiple “unauthorized uses of motorized vehicle” by this citizen (who is presumed innocent of any charges with unknown disposition—as are all alleged mentioned in this post) was probably just another crazy mix-up, not a larceny of vehicle.

Citynewswatch found even more examples:
Quintin Zane Fraylon has been arrested numerous times in the past three years on these charges:
Felony probation violation
Misdemeanor assault on a female - agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor communicating threats
Traffic no operator's license
Traffic fict/alt title/reg card/tag
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor interfere emergency communication
Misdemeanor injury to personal property
Misdemeanor injury to personal property
Misdemeanor assault on a female - agg.phys.force
Felony probation violation
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor interfere emergency communication
Misdemeanor injury to personal property
Misdemeanor resisting public officer
Misdemeanor c/s-sch vi- possess marijuana - misdemeanor
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $50-199
Traffic driving while license revoked
Misdemeanor false imprisonment ( ?)
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Traffic no operator's license
Traffic fict/alt/cncl/rev reg. Card/tag
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor c/s-sch vi- possess marijuana - misdemeanor

Is the combination of “false imprisonment” and “unauthorized use motor vehicle” the misdemeanor way to write up kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle? Maybe, maybe not. Until this city follows the Public Records Law so we can see the records involved, there’s no way to reconcile what Rodney Monroe is doing with the real crime reports.

Generio D Morgan has been arrested for UUMV and also for using a fictional or altered tag/revoked/canceled tag on the vehicle… this seems unlikely to be a mixup, but again, maybe there should be more review.
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Misdemeanor assault or simple assault and battery - non-agg.phys.
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Misdemeanor assault on a female - non.agg.phys.force
Traffic driving while license revoked
Traffic fict/alt/cncl/rev reg. Card/tag

Walter Whitman Twitty has been arrested on the following charges in the last three years:
Misdemeanor trespass - second degree - notified not to enter
Misdemeanor unlawful concealment (misdemeanor) - under $50
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $200 & up
Misdemeanor unlawful concealment (misdemeanor) - $50-$199
Misdemeanor unlawful concealment (misdemeanor) - under $50
Misdemeanor trespass - second degree - notified not to enter
Misdemeanor unlawful concealment (misdemeanor) - under $50
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $200 & up
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - under $50
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $50-199
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $50-199
Misdemeanor trespass - second degree - notified not to enter
Misdemeanor trespass - second degree - notified not to enter
Misdemeanor trespass - second degree - notified not to enter
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $50-199
Misdemeanor larceny (misdemeanor) - $50-199
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle
Misdemeanor unauthorized use of motor vehicle

There were many, many more “mixups about authorization over who was allowed to drive the car” since Cedarposts found 29 UUMV’s in the month of October, 2010 alone. And several people with repeat misunderstanding problems, but none charged with felonies that would reflect on Charlotte’s CRIME RATE.

And of course if you get your car back, that’s often written up as a “damage to property” report at most—if you really make a fuss. If you get your car back, you might get talked out of a report at all. Too much trouble, really. Hours of reports. Deductibles to be paid. You don’t want your insurance rates to go up, do you? This call can be written off with a Miscellaneous Incident, which disappears from the system in short order, and then it’s almost like there never was a crime at all.

What’s the big deal? UUMV is a misdemeanor charge. It’s a Type II Crime that doesn’t impact Charlotte’s Crime Rate, as reported to the FBI. Neither does Damage to property. 

Stolen cars fall into Type I crimes.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a Type I crime.

Damage to Property is a Type II crime.

Discharge of a Firearm in the City is a misdemeanor charge, often used when someone fires a gun at someone else instead of a more appropriate violent crime charge that would make the Crime Rate in Charlotte appear closer to the truth. You might ask if this was “simply” a celebratory firing of a gun (just as deadly when the bullet hits). But the answer is “no.” Charges reviewed are often made in conjunction with simple assault charges—misdemeanor, of course. Proper charges of Aggravated Assault or higher would move into the category of TYPE I Violent Crimes and make everybody look bad. It seems like any assault that involves firing a gun ought to be considered violent and aggravated, but if a DA would write in a clarify, that would be great.

Then there are mini-storage units like the Budget Self storage at 2527 Little Rock Road in April, 2011 that was hit by thieves. According to this report, Inside Self references a WBTV report “the perpetrator damaged a fence to enter the back of the secure lot, and then broke into seven self-storage units and six vehicles. Approximately $1,500 in damage was caused to the facility and the vehicles.” It’s not clear if the vehicles were store inside rented storage units because both this report and the one to follow say the location type is “outdoors” even though it refers to electronic equipment, clothes and fur that were stolen, but here’s the report.
It was written as one crime report with nine victims.

The Morningstar Storage at 11020 N. Hwy 29 in the University Area was hit at the end of August, producing this report with five victims, then again a few days later with three more victims:

The Budget Self Storage had at least one report in November with two victims, including some guns stolen from 4730 North Tryon Street:
If you add all those examples up, that comes to 19 victims knocked out with 4 crime reports. We have no idea if CMPD has corrected this with the FBI statistics, but it’s a little-kept secret among officers that they are instructed to combine victims on reports—even when it’s not permitted per UCR rules—in order to keep down the Crime Stats. Sometimes, it’s “caught and corrected” at the end of the year, but that’s not generally made public.
There is something called the “hotel/motel” rule in the UCR (Uniform Crime Report) manual which allows multiple offenses to be combined into one report in a situation of transient occupants, such as in a hotel or motel. This does NOT apply for rented space such as an apartment or a rented storage unit, which MUST BE COUNTED AS SEPARATE OFFENSES.

The theory of allowing multiple offenses on one report with multiple victims using the “hotel/motel” rule is that the victims are transient and so the location (hotel/motel or comparable) is the main descriptor or the crime. However, in Charlotte, officers say they are encouraged and/or instructed to combine multiple offenses onto one report, thus instantly lowering the appearance of the crime rate in multiples even though the crime is just as high as it had been.

On February 9, 2009, Chief Rodney Monroe stood before City Council and told Mayor McCrory, Councilman Anthony Foxx, and the rest of Council he and his staff were not doing anything different in the way they had been reporting crime that was artificially lowering the reported crime statistics. Officers pressured to do differently say otherwise.
If Chief Monroe would stop obscuring the Calls for Service, the Crime Reports, and the other relevant data many have been asking for, it would be easy enough to verify if things are being done correctly. If things are being done correctly, there would be no need to keep anything hidden; in fact, it would be a source of pride.

Kerr Putney recently made statements with other crime statistic releases that the commercial larceny statistics had shown an increase because of break-ins at mini-storage facilities. They are supposed to be written accounted for as one crime per victim—one per unique, rented space that had a breaking and entering TYPE I crime that would add to the Crime Statistics. However, if you include multiple victims on one report, it seems there is less crime than there is.

Officers are reporting they are under pressure to keep reported crime numbers down by nearly any means. The pressure comes from supervisors gunning for promotions or simply trying not to be targeted for demotions or transfers that are effectively demotions. The pressure comes all the way from the top.

One benefit of going through the stress and expense of a lawsuit when things are not operating as they should be is that it allows and requires personnel to be interviewed, deposed and testify under oath. Sgt. Tammy Hatley won her ruling against Rodney Monroe’s practices within the department, finding that she was not afforded due process in personnel matters.

With settlement talks in Tammy Hatley’s case and the more recent EEOC investigation and interviews underway in a separate case the CMPD would rather the public didn’t know about, issues of fair treatment, non-discrimination, and more are being investigated, giving a voice to a wide swath of sworn officers who have been waiting for a safe way to speak up about a number of issues about the running of the CMPD.

This opportunity for people to give statements about the way Chief Monroe is running the Police Department should not be taken lightly. Those that have been afraid because their jobs are on the line should be encouraged to speak up. If calling in an outside, impartial investigator is necessary, then it should be done.

Before this, speaking up truth to power could amount to career suicide. Maybe these cases and exposure of some other mishandling of issues will be the start of turning around some very bad policies.

After all, City Manager Curt Walton and HR Manager Cheryl Brown have both professed their refusal to investigate various personnel irregularities involving the police department. So far, Charlotte’s City Council and Mayor Foxx have permitted this to continue.


Monroe refuses to release the data.
Here’s another way to state that: Monroe hides the reports that would prove to a statistical conclusion whether he is telling the truth or not.

If you read the last post you’ll see the importance to the Crime Rate even if you just have an impact on moving a percentage of larcenies off the books, such as using the previously ultra-secret SHOP project CMPD employs to handle shoplifting larcenies other than the normal crime reporting route.

Have you had a smashed window on a car that resulted in theft of something from your car? Chances are high it was reported as damage to property, not a larceny from auto. Check your report.

Aggravated assault? Chances are it was reported as a simple assault (misdemeanor) instead. Or it may be written up as harassment. Charlotte’s harassment numbers are up.
Miscellaneous Incidents are used to clear reports from the system. Sometimes this is appropriate, but not at the levels reported off record. The fact that CMPD including the CMPD Attorneys and Chief Monroe, as well as his Public Affairs Office refuse to release the number of Miscellaneous Incidents that are used is a cause for concern.

Are officers talking victims out of reports or failing to look for witnesses in some cases?
Some reports are duplicated. Some were unnecessary calls to check on something suspicious. There are other legitimate reasons. But the denial of public records lead to some troubling options for conclusions about abuse.

No one should encourage people to write off crime completely and use “MI” or “Miscellaneous Incident” as a classification to clear the reports, because that doesn’t conform to the legally required reasons for “exceptional clearances” which are spelled out by the FBI as:

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, law enforcement agencies can clear, or “close,” offenses in one of two ways: by arrest or by exceptional means. Although agencies may administratively close a case, that does not necessarily mean that the agency can clear the offense for UCR purposes. To clear an offense within the UCR Program’s guidelines, the reporting agency must adhere to certain criteria, which are outlined in the following text. (Note: The UCR Program does not distinguish between offenses cleared by arrest and those cleared by exceptional means in collecting or publishing data via the traditional Summary Reporting System.)

Cleared by arrest

In the UCR Program, a law enforcement agency reports that an offense is cleared by arrest, or solved for crime reporting purposes, when three specific conditions have been met. The three conditions are that at least one person has been:

  • Arrested.
  • Charged with the commission of the offense.
  • Turned over to the court for prosecution (whether following arrest, court summons, or police notice).

In its clearance calculations, the UCR Program counts the number of offenses that are cleared, not the number of persons arrested. The arrest of one person may clear several crimes, and the arrest of many persons may clear only one offense. In addition, some clearances that an agency records in a particular calendar year, such as 2009, may pertain to offenses that occurred in previous years.

Cleared by exceptional means

In certain situations, elements beyond law enforcement’s control prevent the agency from arresting and formally charging the offender. When this occurs, the agency can clear the offense exceptionally. Law enforcement agencies must meet the following four conditions in order to clear an offense by exceptional means. The agency must have:

  • Identified the offender.
  • Gathered enough evidence to support an arrest, make a charge, and turn over the offender to the court for prosecution.
  • Identified the offender’s exact location so that the suspect could be taken into custody immediately.
  • Encountered a circumstance outside the control of law enforcement that prohibits the agency from arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender.

Examples of exceptional clearances include, but are not limited to, the death of the offender (e.g., suicide or justifiably killed by police or citizen); the victim’s refusal to cooperate with the prosecution after the offender has been identified; or the denial of extradition because the offender committed a crime in another jurisdiction and is being prosecuted for that offense. In the UCR Program, the recovery of property alone does not clear an offense.

Clearances involving only persons under 18 years of age are handled separately.

Neither of these FBI UCR options allow for clearing by “miscellaneous incident,” but it’s done all the time.  How many times?  The CMPD refuses to answer that question since at least midway through last year.  The MI numbers fall off the system after a short amount of time, so they become nearly untraceable.

This seems to be the way the Charlotte front-pagers want to keep it, and they’re holding their collective breath that there aren’t more and more revelations of bad contracts and police lawsuits to come—and evidence about those things that would cause them trouble since they won’t clean up their own house.

Multiple sources have said that one Captain has manipulated her Division’s statistics more dramatically than others and outside reviews have begun.  CMPD has certainly forced the hand of the public to request the DOJ, the FBI, and the EEOC to investigate certain activities and statistics, as well as contracts that the CMPD wants to keep hidden. 

Maybe Monroe didn’t understand the rules: He didn’t pass his test to become a sworn officer until more than a year after becoming Charlotte’s Chief of Police.

Here are previous posts on Crime Reporting by citynewswatch:

Crime Reporting Questions and Jealous Reporters? (Part 1)
Significant Events in Crime Reporting (Part 2)
CMPD Says Web Site "Under Construction" (Part 3)
Prostitution Sting in Charlotte, Crime Reporting (Part 4)
Why Every Citizen Should Care About Correct Crime Statistics (Part 5)
Comp Stat, Investigations, Crime Reporting (Part 6)