UPDATE- July 23, 2021
In an important win for police transparency and accountability, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Charlotte Chapter of the NAACP, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and several Charlotte-based civil rights attorneys reached an agreement with the City of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in the wake of violent attacks against peaceful protesters on June 2, 2020. Civil rights groups filed suit on behalf of NAACP, Charlotte Uprising, Team TruBlue, Southeast Asian Coalition Village (SEAC), the ACLU of North Carolina, and four Charlotte residents over a year ago, when peaceful protesters took to the streets to take a stand against police brutality following the murder of George Floyd.
The terms of the agreement include extensive revisions to CMPD directives, including a ban on the use of CS tear gas during protests; a ban on the use of chemical weapons to “kettle” or trap protesters; an agreement that crowd dispersal orders must be communicated clearly and repeatedly in English and Spanish, allowing protesters reasonable time to disperse, identifying at least two egress routes for protesters to safely disperse; and a provision that prohibits CMPD from directing pepper balls at protesters’ heads and necks. The agreement also states that the CMPD will not use bikes as weapons during protests, except when someone poses a threat to safety. The settlement agreement will be in effect for four years and provides a mechanism to enforce violations by CMPD. Read the full press release here.
The ACLU of North Carolina, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Emancipate NC, along with several Charlotte-based attorneys, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Charlotte Uprising, NAACP, Team TruBlue, Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC), the ACLU of North Carolina, and 4 Charlotte residents against the City of Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Chief of Police for perpetrating violent attacks against peaceful protesters.
The lawsuit asserts CMPD orchestrated a premeditated and violent attack on peaceful demonstrators, trapping them with a maneuver called “kettling” and assaulting them with rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash bang grenades.
In addition to the ACLU of North Carolina, the Lawyers Committee, and Emancipate NC, counsel on the case include Brandy Haynes, Luke Largess of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, Tim Emry, Abe Rubert-Schewel of Lord & Schewel, Lauren Newton of the law firm of Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, and Alex Heroy of James McElroy & Diehl.