At 'Day of Healing,' CMPD Chief voices support for homicide task force

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As Charlotte's homicide rate reaches staggering new heights, community members are taking matters into their own hands to improve the city.

Dozens of people came together at Marshall Park for "A Day of Healing" event, which celebrated Charlotte nonprofits and their work in the community following unrest after the officer-involved shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.

“Only the community is going to save the community,” said Greg Jackson, co-founder of non-profit organization Heal Charlotte.

Organizers pulled resources from all over the city to offer residents help with everything from housing to health.

“We all just want to come together and try to show Charlotte that we can work together and not fight against each other, and if that decreases violence, that's what we're going to do,” said retired CMPD Detective Gary McFadden.

Charlotte had its 66th homicide of the year this week, two shy of last year’s total.

CMPD chief Kerr Putney also attended the event, and when asked, confirmed his support for a homicide task force.

This week, organizations including SAFE Coalition, Action NC and the Charlotte Mecklenburg NAACP called for the city to re-establish its homicide task force, which was last created in 2005 when 85 people were murdered in Charlotte.

“I brought it up in July,” Putney said. “Nothing happened. So this time I got other people to the table and said, ‘Let's just move. We don't need to make a big deal about it. Let's just start enacting those recommendations that will help us get out of the issues we're having around violence.'”

At a separate event, hosted by the City of Charlotte at the Charlotte Convention Center, residents voiced their concerns with the issues they were most concerned with in their communities.

Afterwards, they broke out into small groups where they brainstormed solutions and an action plan.

The event aligned with the city of Charlotte's commitment letter to the community last September.