It’s been an off-the-wall week for news in North Carolina, and we thought you could use a refresher of sorts. Introducing our weekly news roundup, a bulleted review of five of the week’s most important news stories in our eyes.
- North Carolina’s Congressional District 9, which includes Matthews and parts of southeast Charlotte, remains the last undecided congressional race in the country, and after a shocking turn of events at a Thursday state board of elections hearing, it appears we’re going to be doing this one over, folks. Mark Harris, who won the District 9 election in November over Dan McCready, was testifying on the fourth day of the hearings on Thursday, when he suddenly called for a new election. Harris had entered the hearings hopeful that the board would certify his election, which had been called into question after evidence of election fraud surfaced, stemming from the alleged tampering of mail-in ballots by Harris campaign operative Leslie McRae Dowless. The date of a new election is yet to be determined. Harris stated that he had been suffering with health issues since the election and had been confused during questioning. It’s unclear whether he will run in the special election. McCready announced his candidacy on Friday. (below)
Today I was honored to stand with family and friends and announce my candidacy in the special election in North Carolina’s 9th District. We’ve got a tough fight ahead of us, but together we can restore faith in our democracy. Join our movement here: https://t.co/BPTO6GTq21 pic.twitter.com/FmePg13Ryj
— Dan McCready for NC (@McCreadyForNC) February 22, 2019
- On Friday, a North Carolina judge ruled that two state amendments — one requiring voters to show photo identification and another capping state income tax — are both unconstitutional, ruling them so because the legislature that passed the amendments is unconstitutional due to gerrymandered districts. “An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution,” wrote Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins. The ruling leaves one obvious question to be answered: What has this legislature done that cannot now to be contested in court?
- The trial of Rayquan Borum began this week, as 12 jurors and three alternates were selected to serve on the jury. Opening statements will begin on Monday. Borum is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Justin Carr in September 2016. Both were in Uptown protesting the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott at the time of the shooting. Prosecutors have stated that they have video evidence of the shooting — although what has been released is grainy at best — and a confession, while fellow protesters maintain their belief that Carr was killed by a rubber bullet fired by a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department officer. Forensic experts have stated that Carr’s wound was not consistent with a rubber bullet.
- Four people lost their lives to gun violence in Charlotte over the last week, bringing the total amount of homicides in the city this year to 19. The following were reported killed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department: Ernest Stewart, 29, shot to death in a parking lot on Minuet Lane in south Charlotte early Sunday morning; Melson Quince, 35, shot to death following a disturbance at Club Nikki’s on Little Rock Road early Monday morning; Titus Campbell, 52, shot to death in a home on Tresevant Avenue in west Charlotte early Wednesday morning; and Otis Lucas Jr., 42, shot to death on the side of Matheson Avenue just north of Uptown early this morning.
- More than 100 people showed up outside A Preferred Women’s Health Clinic in east Charlotte this morning as anti-choice organization Love Life Charlotte began week two of its annual 40 Weeks of Love protests. During the 40 Weeks of Love, LLC brings large groups of protesters from different religious congregations around the city to APWHC on Saturday mornings to march, sing songs and speak out against abortion while patients try to access the healthcare facility. This year, as with last year, APWHC owner Calla Hales has kept an ongoing thread documenting the marches from her viewpoint (below).
Alright y’all. You win.
WELCOME TO WEEK ONE OF #40WEEKSOFHARASSENT! I’ll be your Sherpa of Shenanigans through this ordeal. Please keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times. And don’t forget: pic.twitter.com/qP6kpBRGOF
— Calla Hales (@heyitscalla) February 16, 2019