It’s been exactly 1 year since the historic protesting and riots broke out in Charlotte over the death of Keith Lamont Scott.
Violent protesting, rioting, and looting started on the night of the shooting, September 20th, 2016, and reached its violent climax on September 21st in Uptown Charlotte:
Peaceful protests continued in and around Uptown Charlotte for another week as the majority of Charlotteans wrestled with their own thoughts about racial issues in our city.
How significant is racism in Charlotte?
Am I racist?
Are police more violent and/or fearful toward certain races?
Is generational poverty affected by race?
Are crime trends affected by race?
Can anything be done?
After a year of court battles, CMPD Cheif Putney has now laid out several changes he will start working on, at the recommendation of the Citizen Review Board, including:
- How they train officers to handle vehicle takedowns, which means getting someone safely out of a car during a confrontation, with no one getting hurt.
- How they use de-escalation tactics to ease the tension in a confrontation and get someone to follow their instructions peacefully.
- Look at whether someone pointing a gun can, in fact, react more quickly than a person who has gun pointed toward them.
In last week’s press conference, the chief noted that he believes the officers involved in Keith Scott’s shooting acted legally, and according to their training and department policies, but also said that changes can and should be made.
If you’d like to learn more about racial reconciliation or talk about your frustrations, here are several options;
- The Levine Museum of the New South is still running their exhibit focused on the Lemare Keith Scott shooting – Know Justice Know Peace. It first started on February 17th, 2017 and will run through October 22nd, 2017 – there are several exhibits, talks, and book signings related to racial issues scheduled over the next month.
- Community Building Initiative is running Charlotte in Black & White. . .and More bus tours, providing a window into African American history in Charlotte and new immigrant experiences. The tour includes conversations with other participants and an opportunity to consider how you can get involved in the current racial issues of our community.
- Several west-side churches have started a new united movement called ‘Cross Talk’, which seeks to increase racial reconciliation through open dialogue.
- On October 30th, Race Matters for Juvenile Justice will host Hidden in Plain Sight Conference: Exposing the Cost of Racism. The keynote speaker is Ramona Brant, mother of two adult sons and grandmother to three young granddaughters.
There are dozens of other single events and series related to race relations that will be held at various churches throughout Charlotte over the next year – click here for a complete event schedule.
You can also check out these thought-provoking talks online;
- Poverty, Injustice, And The Affordable Housing Crisis – Wendy Herkey
- We Need to Talk about an Injustice – Bryan Stevenson
- How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them – Vernā Myers
- Allegories on race and racism – Camara Jones, TEDxEmory
Has your perspective on race changed since the death of Keith Lamont Scott?
Please share your thoughts and perspective in the comments below.