New Call to Action as Homicide Rate Continues to Rise in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –  There have been 92 people killed in Charlotte so far this year. Now there’s a new call to action to stop the violence. The NAACP says more needs to be done to get to the root of the problem.

“The pain never goes away,” explains Lucille Puckett.

She knows the heartbreak for families who lose a loved one to gun violence. Her son, Shawn Harbin, was killed in West Charlotte three years ago.

Now as Charlotte’s murder rate climbs toward 100, she says it’s time for local leaders to step up.

“I really don’t believe that the police department or the criminal justice system is giving our people a reason to put the guns down,” Puckett says.

She and members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP voiced their concerns on Monday. They want city and county leaders to be more aggressive in speaking out about the violence – and they want them to be more visible in the community.

“It’s our responsibility, each and every one of us, to go in these communities and give them the tools and resources they need,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP President Corine Mack, during a news conference Monday.

Puckett also worries too many repeat offenders are getting out. She says her son’s accused murder is out of jail awaiting trial on house arrest.

“It’s like a game of, you know, hide and seek, or a game of chess, they don’t take it serious,” Puckett explains.

Mayor Vi Lyles spoke out about the growing murder rate and held a moment of silence at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“If we’re going to have a city that we talk about and want, this has got to stop,” Lyles said at the meeting.