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5 Things To Know: Five Arrested as Sheriff’s Office Moves on Jail Support

…and four more stories from Sept. 6-12, 2020

Five Arrested as Sheriff’s Office Moves on Jail Support

Protesters with Charlotte Uprising marched last night and demanded that the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) return supplies that they confiscated early Friday morning when they raided the Jail Support site that has been operating on East 4th Street since May. According to a witness at Jail Support, deputies approached the group at 7:30 a.m. on Friday and told everyone they had until the count of three to collect their supplies and leave. After counting to three, deputies arrested five Jail Support volunteers and confiscated many of the supplies at the site. 

In a statement on Friday, the sheriff’s department acknowledged the move, citing harassment of law enforcement officials and others in the area and the litter left on sidewalks by the group, while also claiming that volunteers had “on at least two occasions committed sex crimes including Crimes Against Nature,” a claim that basically amounts to a homophobic slur in this day and age. In the statement, McFadden says an incident that occurred last week in which someone chased two detention officers with a brick and then threw the brick at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, breaking a window, led to Friday’s move against Jail Support. McFadden alleged that the suspect was associated with Jail Support. 

The site where Jail Support once stood was cleared by noon Friday. (Photo by Jeff Taylor)

McFadden has addressed Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in recent months with a PowerPoint presentation arguing his case against Jail Support, though he stated it would not be his office’s job to decide on the next move. In Friday’s statement, McFadden said his office worked in cooperation with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Friday’s move, and did so after “extensive communication with City and County leadership and consultation with District Attorney Spencer Merriweather and members of his staff.” 

All five of those arrested were released in the lead-up to a press conference on Friday afternoon at which Jail Support organizers demanded the sheriff’s office return their supplies. 


CMPD Releases Info On COVID-19 Violations

CMPD on Wednesday released info that gives a glimpse at efforts the department is taking to curb the spread of COVID-19, as North Carolina remains under Phase 2.5 restrictions until at least October. According to Wedneday’s release, the department recently inspected 822 ABC inspections and cited two, including Hoppin’, where a woman was seen on social media recently sucking cider out of a tap that was being used by everyone. The other establishment to be cited was El Centenario, where owner Kevin Galyan recently told WSOC’s  Joe Bruno he would open in defiance of the order because if he didn’t he would need to close for good. 

The department also issued citations resulting from four illegal parties that occurred between Sept. 2-5, including ones held at residences, AirBnB rentals and private venues. 

A look at test positivity rates. (Graph courtesy of Mecklenburg County Public Health)

According to the most recent data released on Friday afternoon, there have been 26,795 positive cases of COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents and 336 deaths resulting from the coronavirus. That’s an increase of 731 cases and 26 deaths since the same time last week. In-depth data for cases that occurred through Wednesday showed, on average, around 142 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 at any given day during the past week, a stable trend compared to the previous 14 days. Positive test percentage also remained relatively stable at 6.1%. 


City Kicks Off Corridors of Opportunity Program on Beatties Ford Road

City and county leaders held a press conference on Beatties Ford Road on Wednesday afternoon to announce the beginning of the new Corridors of Opportunity program, in which the city will invest $24.5 million into “key” corridors that have in the past been underfunded. The program will begin on Beatties Ford Road, and more specifically, the site of the old Dalebrook Professional Center, where Wednesday’s press conference was held. 

The vacant lot was recently purchased by Roger and Claudette Parham with RC Ventures. They plan to redevelop the site, though no concrete plans are yet set. While some neighborhood leaders complained on Wednesday that the press conference should have been made more public so as to get community members involved, local representatives such as city council member Malcolm Graham and county commissioner Vilma Leake spent hours on Wednesday morning going door-to-door in Lincoln Heights and other surrounding neighborhoods in an effort to hear from residents about what they’d like to see happen on the corridor. 

A rendering of the Five Points Plaza. (Courtesy of City of Charlotte)

Other upcoming revitalization plans for the corridor include Five Points Plaza at the intersection of West Trade Street, West 5th Street, Beatties Ford Road and Rozzelles Ferry Road, as well as the redevelopment of a nearby strip mall on Rozzelles Ferry Road by Dianna Ward of Sankofa Partners LLC and the renovation and redevelopment of the historic Excelsior Club. As for the Corridors of Opportunity program, the five other corridors include Graham and North Tryon streets, Sugar Creek Road at I-85, Central Avenue and Albemarle Road, Freedom Drive and Wilkinson Boulevard, and West Boulevard. 


 Mecklenburg County Wants To Give You Money (Let Them)

Mecklenburg County announced this week that the county is now accepting applications for its Helping Out Mecklenburg’s homeowners with Economic Support (HOMES) public assistance program, designed to help low- to moderate-income qualified Mecklenburg County homeowners keep their homes by providing financial assistance.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners approved the program during its Sept. 1 meeting. The assistance comes after the 2019 countywide revaluation significantly raised many homeowners’ property tax bills, especially those in older, established neighborhoods near Uptown Charlotte.

“While there are many benefits to a robust real estate market, one downside is that affordable housing becomes scarce and the rising costs to retain residences can outpace income growth,” read a release from the county on Wednesday. “This grant program is designed to assist qualified residential homeowners to retain their homes by reducing the financial burden resulting from rising values.” 

The County Assessor’s Office, the Office of the Tax Collector and the Department of Social Services are working together to implement the program. Eligible homeowners must:

  • live in Mecklenburg County.
  • own a residential property or occupy a property with a qualifying life estate.
  • have lived in this primary residence for the past three consecutive years.
  • not have more than one delinquent property tax bill in the last three years.
  • make a total household income that does not exceed 50% of the area median income set by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For example, a family of four’s household income limit is $41,750.

The HOMES program application can be found on the county’s taxes website. Applicants can request a paper application by phone at 980-314-4226 or by visiting the County Assessor’s Office lobby at 3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 3500.


Three Murders Put Yearly Total at 82

Police this week announced that the shooting death of a man on Audrey Street in April has been deemed a justified homicide, meaning that after three more homicides occurred this week in Charlotte, the total number of murders in the city this year is at 82. 

At around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to a check-the-welfare call on South Crigler Street in the Thomasboro-Hopkins neighborhood of west Charlotte and found one man shot dead and another man suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The dead man was later identified as 45-year-old Oldin Lainez. Police are not looking for any other subjects involved in the incident. 

Deante Brown

Later that day, at around 5:30 p.m., police responded to Carolinas Medical Center Main in the Midtown area where 28-year-old Deante Brown had shown up with a gunshot wound at around 5:30 p.m. He later succumbed to his injuries. It’s unclear at this time how or why he was shot. 

Beatrice Serrano

Just after 4 a.m. on Thursday, police responded to a shots fired call on Denson Place in the Shannon Park neighborhood of east Charlotte and found 32-year-old Beatrice Serrano shot dead in a car. Police found a male suspect fighting with a witness at a nearby property. The suspect was injured in the fight and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment before he was arrested. It is believed that the suspect was in a previous relationship with Serrano. 

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