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5 Things To Know: MCSO Detention Officer Fired for Attacking Inmate

...and four more stories from Aug. 23-29, 2020

Detention Officer Fired for Attacking Inmate

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry L. McFadden announced in a press release that detention officer Darryl Shavers was charged and arrested on felony assault charges on Thursday morning after an investigation into a use-of-force incident in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center found that Shavers had attacked an incarcerated person.

The incident, which occurred on Aug. 20, began as a verbal dispute between Shavers and the victim, then escalated when the victim threw an empty paper cup at Shavers. According to the release, “Shavers then initiated physical contact with the victim that is unacceptable under [Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office] policies and procedures.” Shavers submitted a written report regarding his use of force, “but failed to disclose sufficient detail depicting the full facts of the incident as it was clearly captured on video,” read the release.

 “The conduct of Officer Shavers is deeply disappointing,” McFadden stated in the release. “The dangers of working in a detention facility are certainly not lost on me. However, I have to ensure the safety of not only my officers, but also the residents of our detention facilities, which is why I felt it prudent to act decisively in this case. This kind of officer conduct undermines the professional work being done by the vast majority of the detention professionals
at MCSO.”

Shavers began working for MCSO on June 5, 2019, and was fired on Thursday just before his arrest.

UNC Charlotte Delays Start of In-Person Classes

In a video announcement on Sunday, new UNC Charlotte Chancellor Sharon Gaber announced that the planned starting date for in-person classes will be pushed back from Sept. 7 to Oct. 1 due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In recent weeks, Mecklenburg County has seen COVID-19-positive cases start to decline and public health officials are encouraged by these trends,” Gaber wrote in a statement. “However, the county continues to have the highest number of outbreaks and clusters in the state. While the community is making considerable progress to slow the rate of transmission, we do not want to lose this momentum.”

The news comes after COVID-19 clusters and reports of crowded parties on and off campus at other UNC System schools forced UNC Chapel Hill and, most recently, East Carolina University, to move classes fully online. Some UNC Charlotte staff and students spoke out against the plan to return to campus on Sept. 7.

fall semester
Residence halls have been empty since March 20, but will fill back up in late September. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

While in-person classes will be delayed, online instruction will begin as scheduled on Sept. 7. Move-in dates for residence halls have been pushed back to Sept. 26-29, though some international students and others with extenuating circumstances will move in during the coming week as planned. The deadline to cancel on-housing contracts has been pushed back to 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 4.  Gaber asked that students, staff and parents stay tuned to the Niner Nation Cares website for updates.

“The decision to adjust our plan was not made lightly,” Gaber wrote. “I recognize that these changes will be frustrating for some and a relief for others. However, this decision is made with the health and well-being of our students and employees as our top priorities. The additional time allows the county’s infection rate to further stabilize, creating a safer environment for our University and our community this fall. The safety of our campus will continue to guide all of our discussions and our planning.”

Group Calls for Changes to Citizens Review Board

Members of Safe Coalition NC and Action NC are calling on the city to make three changes to the Citizens Review Board (CRB), two of which would link the board more closely with the Civil Service Board, which has more power in terms of hiring, firing and carrying out disciplinary action within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and Charlotte Fire departments.

In an email sent to Charlotte City Council members, City Manager Marcus Jones and other city leaders on Friday, Robert Dawkins of SAFE Coalition laid out three suggestions for changes to the CRB. The first suggestion is that city council change the ordinance governing the CRB to allow the board to refer appeals they have sustained to the Civil Service Board for investigation. The second request is that any officer that refuses to appear before the CRB automatically have their case referred to the Civil Service Board for investigation.

The third request is that the CRB be given subpoena power, although this would need approval from the N.C. General Assembly, so Dawkins requested that it be added to the city’s 2021 N.C. Legislative Agenda. City council member Malcolm Graham responded to Friday’s email with a request to set a meeting with Dawkins next week in order to get more information from him.

The suggestions come during a week when CMPD released videos of a June 2 incident in which protesters were corralled into a city block and fired upon with tear gas and pepper balls. The videos showed that, contrary to department claims, the attack was premeditated. Though one officer has been disciplined for comments he made in one of the videos, those who planned the attack have not.

Report Shows Dramatic Drop in Pollutants During Stay-at-Home Order

Mecklenburg County Air Quality released the results of a study carried out from March 26 to April 29, when Mecklenburg County was under its strictest stay-at-home order and traffic on I-77 and I-277 dropped by 40%. The study found that air pollution — measured by concentrations of fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone — was lower than average, and the decrease was greater near major roadways. Ozone concentrations were lower than what would have been expected based on the meteorological conditions during that time period. 

According to a press release put out by the county on Tuesday, “Local emission inventory data has long shown that, in Mecklenburg County, most ozone forming-air pollution comes from on-road vehicles like cars, vans and trucks. The results of the analysis reinforce that reducing pollution from vehicles is especially important to improve local air quality. ” 

Man Arrested for Stabbing Mother to Death

A woman was stabbed to death by her son in the Shannon Park neighborhood of east Charlotte on Sunday morning, police say, becoming the 79th homicide victim in Charlotte this year. Officers responded to a home on Tyrone Drive just after 4 a.m. on Sunday and found 64-year-old Sow Mue suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was transported to the hospital by MEDIC, but was later pronounced dead. Police arrested the victim’s son, 24-year-old Sow Te Roe, at the scene and have since charged him with Mue’s murder.

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