News & OpinionWeekly News Roundup

5 Things To Know: Quarterly Stats Show Violent Crime in Charlotte on the Rise

...and four other stories from Oct. 4-10, 2020

Crime in Charlotte Down, Though Violent Crime Is Up

The CMPD released its third quarter crime stats on Wednesday, showing a decrease in overall crime, even as violent crime in Charlotte is on the rise. According to the department’s numbers, while overall crime in Charlotte is down 10% in 2020 compared to where it was at the end of September 2019, violent crime has gone up 11% compared to the same stretch last year. 

crime in Charlotte
Quarterly stats give a glimpse of crime trends in Charlotte thus far in 2020. (Graphic courtesy of CMPD)

Other notable stats from Wednesday’s release: 

  • Police have made 11,114 arrests this year, down 16% from last year.
  • Officers confiscated 1,677 guns, an increase of 9%.
  • There have been about 268,000 calls for service this year, down 11% from 2019. 
  • There have been 85 complaints filed against officers, down from 97 at the same time last year. (Note that a majority of officer complaints come from fellow officers.) 
  • The current homicide clearance rate is at 73%, well above the national average, which is below 60%. 

At a press conference on Wednesday, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said he is concerned about the spike in violent crime in Charlotte, especially considering the young ages of many suspects and victims. Homicides have gone up 13% since last year, which saw the highest homicide total in the city since 1993.

On our latest episode of Nooze Hounds, we discussed newly proposed policing initiatives with N.C. Rep. John Autry and SAFE Coalition’s Robert Dawkins. 


Mecklenburg County Falls Below 5% Average Test-Positivity Rate

Despite rising rates in surrounding counties, the average test-positivity rate for COVID-19 among Mecklenburg County residents over the past week has fallen below 5% for the first time since spring, according to the most recent data released by Mecklenburg County Public Health on Friday. While daily test-positivity rates have come in under 5% many times, this marks the first time the weekly average dipped below that number, reaching a goal set by local health officials months ago. 

As of Friday afternoon, there had been 29,910 positive cases of COVID-19 reported among Mecklenburg County residents and 366 deaths resulting from the coronavirus. That’s an increase of 830 cases and five deaths since the same time last week. In-depth data for cases that occurred through Wednesday showed, on average, around 86 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 at any given day during the past week, a stable trend compared to the previous 14 days.

A look at daily cases reported in Mecklenburg County. (Graph courtesy of MCPH)

The county is offering free testing today from 8-11 a.m. at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, where last weekend’s Mecktoberfest event led to multiple new cases of COVID-19. Videos from the event show a startling lack of social distancing and mask wearing. Health officials ask that anyone who attended get tested, though anyone is welcome to get tested at the site this morning.


Center City Partners, Charlotte Joy Rides Launch New Community Initiatives in Uptown

Charlotte Center City Partners (CCCP) kicked off a series of new initiatives on Friday, beginning with the closure of North Tryon Street between 5th and 6th streets to implement the Street Eats program, allowing restaurants to have additional outdoor seating. CCCP is partnering with Intown Delivery Service to allow restaurants outside of that specific block to have food delivered. The block will be closed to car traffic until Sunday at 9 p.m. 

This weekend’s closure will be the first of many similar initiatives planned along Tryon Street through the end of the year. Planned programming for later dates includes small stages for music and fitness classes, along with outdoor movies in the Victoria Yards space at the corner of 7th and Tryon Street. 

Weather permitting, 7th Street Public Market will hold special pop-up sidewalk markets on closed down blocks from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Also part of this activation, Charlotte B-cycle has launched its new rebranding, Charlotte Joy Rides, adding a fleet of 343 e-assist bicycles and four docking stations throughout Uptown. As part of its re-launch, Charlotte Joy Rides is providing simplified, introductory pricing: a Flash Pass (30 minutes for $5); a Joy Pass ($30 all day, with no docking required); or monthly ($50 per month) and annual ($150 a year) memberships.


Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health Complete Merger

Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, including Wake Forest School of Medicine, officially joined together as a single enterprise under the Atrium Health name on Friday. 

Wake Forest Atrium Health
Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center – Main. (Photo courtesy of Atrium Health)

Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest School of Medicine will become the academic core of Atrium Health, building a second campus of its school of medicine in Charlotte, currently the largest city in the U.S. without a four-year medical school. “The growth of the school of medicine will expand existing academic research capabilities in a way that expands opportunities for clinical trials across a large, diverse market with some of the nation’s leading medical experts,” according to an Atrium press release. 

According to the release, independent economic analysis has found the immediate direct and indirect annual economic and employment impact from the combined enterprise will exceed $32 billion and 180,000 jobs.


Four Homicides Bring Yearly Total to 90

CMPD reported four more homicides this week, bringing the total number of murders in Charlotte this year to 90. On Tuesday, the department announced 24-year-old Tyrone Stinson died on Oct. 3 of injuries he sustained in a shooting on Oct. 1 at the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Fern Avenue. David Lee Chambers, 29, has been arrested and charged with Stinson’s murder. 

Just before 9:30 p.m. on Monday, officers responded to a shooting call at Arcadia Student Living apartment complex near UNC Charlotte and found 20-year-old Yazeed Alsawalha suffering from a gunshot wound inside an apartment. MEDIC transported Alsawalha to Atrium Health – Main, where he was later pronounced dead. No arrests have yet been made in the case. 

Police are investigating two murders that occurred on Friday. Early Friday morning, officers responded to a shooting call on Rozzelle’s Ferry Road near I-85 and found a victim lying dead of a gunshot wound in the street. Their name has not yet been released. Just before 8:40 p.m. on Friday night, police responded to a home on Cheval Place in the Windsor Park neighborhood and found 25-year-old Kwame Pugh inside, dead of a gunshot wound. 

Yazeed Alsawalha (Photo courtesy of GunMemorial.com)

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