Charlotte City Council Will Discuss Violence Interruption Program On Monday

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  WCCB has learned, during a strategy meeting on Monday, Charlotte City Council will discuss the violence interruption program, focusing on de-escalating conflicts.

In less than 10 days, five people have been killed by senseless violence in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor. Four during a block party,  and another Tuesday afternoon. The latest victim is 14-year-old Terreon Geter. He was hot and killed after an argument in front of an arcade.

“A constituent of mine called me yesterday, literally crying, saying she had enough. I agree with her. I’m frustrated. There’s anger out there, rightly so,” says City Council member Malcolm Graham.

The corridor is in City Council member Graham’s district. It’s also an area recognized by CMPD as a crime hot spot. Graham thinks a violence interruption program is a great strategy.

“We’ve got to do a better job policing, we have to do a better job of talking in our communities about de-escalation before things occur. We also have to identify ways to interrupt the violence before it occurs.”

CMPD recommended the city use a violence interruption program after a deadly 2019. Someone not involved in government mediates an argument to prevent it from escalating. Cities that have violence interruption programs have seen up to a 30% reduction in homicides. The program usually consists of retired police officers, people who grew up in the neighborhoods, even some who have been in prison. CMPD may follow the program in St. Louis.

“I think that we all believe it’s a potential solution or one of the potential solutions for a lot of the challenges that we’re facing. I think that was eager to get back into that conversation,” says City Council member Larken Egleston.

Councilmember Egleston says the conversation will be different than it would have been earlier this year.

“And the wake of what we’ve seen with George Floyd, in the wake of what we seen with the protest here and across the country, and all of the conversations that I’ve been going on about policing.”

There have been 54 homicides so far this year.