Charlotte could scratch extraordinary event ordinance

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte city leaders will likely recommend eliminating the city's extraordinary event ordinance that provides Charlotte-Mecklenburg police with extra resources to fight crime.

When declared by the city manager, extraordinary events give the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department more leeway to stop suspicious people. Certain items, including masks and knives, are also banned.

There have been 41 extraordinary events declared since the ordinance was created in 2012, Chief Kerr Putney said.

The ordinance was created to combat anarchists at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

"If everything is an extraordinary event then the usefulness is greatly deteriorated," Putney said.

Putney said he supports eliminating the extraordinary event ordinance and instead amending the city's public assembly ordinance to prohibit a scaled-back list of items.

"In no way would I ever ask you to do something that I feel like made us less safe," Putney said.

The public assembly ordinance is in effect when streets are closed. A declaration wouldn't need to be declared by the city manager. One potential hiccup would be police not having extra security powers for events where streets do not close, such as the CIAA.

A spokesperson for the city of Charlotte said no decisions have been made about next week's CIAA tournament. She refused to make City Manager Marcus Jones available for an interview.

Only one person has been arrested for violating the extraordinary event ordinance. The council is likely going to make a decision in the next 60 days, Putney said. A decision on security for next week's CIAA tournament will be made this week.

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