Mayor Roberts: “Hold us accountable.”

Three weeks after the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, citizens still demand answers from City Council members.

Jason E. Miczek—For The North State Journal
From left: Charlotte City Council member at large Julie Eiselt

CHARLOTTE – Three weeks after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, Charlotte residents still have questions for their community leaders. Monday night’s City Council meeting focused on moving forward following a death that rocked and divided North Carolina’s largest city. Affordable housing, jobs, and police-community relations were main topics on the night’s agenda. One citizen told council members, “Your response is to talk about housing and jobs, that is not the response to police shootings.” Other citizens agreed these topics should have been addressed long before the shootings occured. In the wake of Scott’s death, Charlotte was under an international spotlight, with many calling for the resignation of both Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Police Chief Kerr Putney. Last week, the City Council released a letter to citizens in response to protests. The content focused on “safety, trust, and accountability” while promising initiatives for affordable-housing and jobs with better pay. At the Oct. 10th meeting, council members unanimously voted to spend $1 million on workforce development, make affordable housing goals priority, and bring in outside review of CMPD and their policies. Over the next several months, a group from The Police Foundation of Washington D.C. will review and consult CMPD on their policies and handling. Prior to the meeting, Putney also called for more body cameras, and the City Council agreed to support that decision.Going forward after riots, the death of a man during protests, and release of body and dash cam footage, the majority of residents who spoke at Monday’s meeting didn’t want housing and jobs, but transparency from the Mayor and accountability for those involved in Scott’s death. Council member Claire Fallon, who is serving her final term, said, “The community doesn’t want us to keep telling them what to do.”Council member Al Austin agreed that initiatives for jobs and housing are only the beginning and further action needs to be taken. Austin also addressed that the emotion and anger is not over, which was clearly seen from residents during the meeting. As the Queen City now patches wounds and moves forward by addressing greater issues of race relations and economic divide, Mayor Roberts, who referred to the city as “the two Charlottes” promises she is committed to fixing underlying issues and providing transparency. Roberts told citizens: “Hold us accountable.”