Beth Shayne, WCNC News (Charlotte), May 30, 2011
Questions continue to swirl as investigators search for whoever fired shots during one of many fights in uptown Charlotte early Sunday.
It was one of several fights that broke out after the Speed Street celebration in Uptown. CMPD called out its Civil Emergency Unit after reporting that many large groups of people were disobeying police, flashing gang signs, blocking traffic and fighting.
A manager at a convenience store on North Tryon Street tells NewsChannel 36 a huge crowd swarmed the store, broke a window, and began stealing things, before running away.
In all, 70 people were arrested–including 15 juveniles. Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, fighting, assault, and impeding traffic.
Several city leaders have expressed concerns about the incident. Though it has been several years since there was trouble, it is not the first Uptown gathering marred by late night arrests. The city is anxious to put its best foot forward for next year’s Democratic National Convention.
Mayor Anthony Foxx released a statement:
“The crime that took place Sunday morning is disturbing and unacceptable. Neither our center city nor any of our neighborhoods are appropriate places for violence. Over the last twenty four hours, our police force has been focused on getting to the bottom of this incident. I have full confidence that Chief Monroe will use all of the tools available to find and ensure the prosecution of those responsible and take preemptive actions to make sure this rare occurrence does not repeat itself. While Charlotte’s crime rate is the lowest in 30 years, the events of Sunday night are a harsh reminder that we still have more work to do.”