Charlotte Attorneys Accuse CMPD Of Harassment & Intimidation, Allegations Under Review
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “It’s not something we’re making up. It’s not something we take lightly. It’s something that’s done to intimidate,” says Charlotte attorney Dominique Camm. Camm, part of a group of Charlotte attorneys who are working pro bono for arrested protesters, held a news conference Wednesday to outline their accusations of harassment and intimidation against the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
“We wanna make it clear to our community and CMPD that we will not be intimidated, that members of the community will not be intimidated,” added attorney Darlene Harris.
The attorneys say CMPD is trying to scare people out of protesting by using excessive physical force, surveilling their homes, delaying attorney access, forcing attorneys to provide their home addresses to police, even threatening to arrest one attorney one night at headquarters. Attorney Amanda Wright says, “And just to note, we were on the public sidewalk, we were not in the parking lot where the vehicles are located, we remained on the sidewalk at all times and were still threatened with arrest.”
They say the department is choosing to pursue misdemeanor charges via actual arrests instead of paperwork. Attorney Tim Emry says, “CMPD is intentionally putting the safety of individuals arrested, the safety of anyone they come into contact with, at risk by arresting them, taking them to jail, where they could get COVID-19, where they could pass COVID-19, etc. None of this is in the public interest.”
Camm says, “I don’t expect CMPD to do better right now, because I believed Chief Putney in 2016 when he said transparency is in the eye of the beholder. I surmise he believe that accountability is, too.”
Again, CMPD tells WCCB they are aware of the accusations and they have forwarded them to their internal affairs department for investigation.