I have a grapevine that leads directly to the boots on the ground in Charlotte. The picture is not entirely pretty.
What is the reality? The police department and the others maintaining "security" have not been doing everything they can to quell the unrest and to limit the disruptions to area businesses. I saw a piece on Fox 8/ WGHP last night that discussed the amount of money businesses are losing in Charlotte's uptown/ downtown areas; but in fact, this story has largely gone unreported otherwise. The media overall doesn't care that people's livelihoods are being affected because a Higher Virtue is being pursued.
The police are being called to work very long hours, often with limited sleep; and yet they are not being led to deal definitively with the situation. They are at risk in this environment, and a number have been injured; but the situation drags on. They are maintaining a presence, but are doing far less than they are truly able to do.
The mayor declared a midnight curfew several nights ago; but the curfew has not been enforced. It appears to be a ruse.
Police officers are asking their command staff what precisely is going on. And the command staff is apparently telling the police officers they really don't know.
The police chief in the city of Charlotte reports directly to the city manager; and the city manager reports to the entire city council, just as in Greensboro. The police chief appears to be a good man; but his employees strongly suspect he is being restrained and micromanaged.
But here is the big question. Who is restraining the Charlotte police chief from doing what he needs to do?
The most obvious potential explanation, of course, is the city manager and the city council. Charlotte has become an extreme left city in a very rapid period of time; and its civil government has deteriorated markedly.
But another party is suspected of exercising de facto control over how the local police chief is responding. It is the woman sent to Charlotte from the US Department of Justice employed by Obama and Loretta Lynch. We cannot rule out the possibility that our awful federal government is pulling all the strings with regard to Charlotte's response. The feds have a huge stick they can wield-- the enormous amount of grant monies and other funds supplied to eager municipalities.
Meanwhile, we are beginning to learn the facts regarding the black man who was killed. It turns out his wife had filed for a restraining order against him. He apparently had in his possession a stolen gun; and he had committed acts of violence against members of his own family. He even had threatened to kill them. He was a convicted felon.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte City Council met yesterday and faced protesters in their own chambers. It sounds like an absolute zoo.
The national media is now reporting that murders surged 10.8% between 2014 and 2015. Of course, that time frame is precisely when all the racial protests and straight-jacketing of police began.The media/left complex cheered these developments intently, and now they count the dead bodies.
The situation in Greensboro is not much better. Our city council has spent the last week posturing over the release of a video involving a police officer who has already left the department. The objective is obviously to nurse the grievances of the local black community including the Guilford County Community PAC, which was started up by a group of far-left African-American pastors whose interest in sowing racial unrest far exceeds their interest in saving souls. Mayor Vaughan is in their hip pocket.
Greensboro's city council conducted a circus of its own yesterday. The emerging "wisdom" from these proceedings is that the department needs to begin taking away from police officers their due process rights. A decade ago, when black officers were engaged in wrongdoing in Greensboro (including two current deputy chiefs), we heard how important it was that their due process rights had to be protected. Now, it no longer matters because the shoe is on the other foot.
Two of the state's most important municipalities-- Charlotte and Greensboro-- have descended into the cesspool of left wing radicalism. Their respective city councils are an absolute joke; and their police chiefs are emasculated.
The state of North Carolina needs to consider these two police departments-- in Charlotte and Greensboro-- and take them out of the control of the respective municipalities. Instead, Mecklenberg and Guilford Counties, respectively, ought to be granted control of these two police departments. That would allow a broader, more level-headed population to elect public servants who control each respective department. The demographics within the city limits in Charlotte and Greensboro assure that these departments will not be managed appropriately.
The city of Charlotte has brought massive national discredit upon the state of North Carolina twice within the last year. This is a situation that cries out for the intervention of the North Carolina General Assembly because the people of Charlotte obviously cannot govern themselves.
Charlotte is a major banking center. Wells Fargo has 23,000 employees locally, and Bank of America has 15,000. It would be devastating for the metropolitan area and for the entire state if these employers were to decide that they need to leave Charlotte behind. Even though these are both progressive/ liberal companies, there is only so much they will tolerate.
Update: Marc Ridgill has an excellent post that points out the Greensboro City Council relied excessively on the video, and did not sufficiently consider the overall context of the interaction, when it staged its circus on Monday.