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Seabreeze

July 4th Riot

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Well, reports are coming in that Charlotte indeed had what would classify as a "riot" last night... Charlotte.com has an article on it, that seems to downplay it somewhat. A friend said he saw tear gas used to subdue the crowd, and the restaurant he works at was one of two closed to allow people to evacuate the streets. He also saw people being cuffed and fireworks thrown into the crowd... no reports of injuries though.

It seems the news has been mentioning a lot of crimes lately. Robberies and murders are on the news every week, lots of double homicides and triple homicides... is this a nationwide trend or is this charlotte specific?

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/12055485.htm

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I was wondering if the news was downplaying it too as channel 36 kind of mentioned it in passing this morning, but then when on to describe something very serious. If it involved 2000 people, there was gunfire, and they called in so many Police that even the dog catchers had to come in to help contain it, it sounds pretty bad. Not something that I would want to be around. Too bad for Charlotte, this used to be a great event.

Were there any eye witnesses to this event?

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"used to be" is as recent as one year ago. I couldn't make it this year (i guess that was lucky), but have gone every year the last few years. People were all extremely calm and controlled.

Hopefully this doesn't cause them to curtail large events downtown, though. I'm sure it isn't part of a trend of crime overall... because it is an event rather than everyday activity.

i must say, though, that if the local tv news is "downplaying" it, it really must not have been that bad. Maybe the police response was just to be on the cautious side and the number "2000 people" is just an estimate of people who were in the vicinity.

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Actually in true fashion, channel 36 got increasingly more alarmist as the morning went on. Someone actually got shot during the event. Makes you wonder what is going on.

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Any idea on location and time? I was in uptown until around 1am, but didn't see anything going on. Maybe I was on the wrong side of the city....

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I won't be back downtown for the events. I was witness to someone who threw a rocket into a rather large crowd and then watched as he proceeded to run. Everyone around who saw it was absolutely stunned but considering he didn't look very gentleman like, I doubt many would want to jump him in fear of being shot at. Why is it that everyone chooses not to behave? It's sad that such a great event has such pitfalls as this. I will be elsewhere next year and this will also keep me from attending any other events downtown that attract large crowds such as this.

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Didn't see any particulary riot-like behavior, but it was easy to see how tensions ran high. I think there was a lot of confusion about where they fireworks would be launched so people had to scramble at the last minute, which ticked them off. Cars were jammed and gridlocked - unable to park or move as some inconsiderate drivers decided to stop where they were to watch. Then- it was a race to get out of uptown. Seas of people and cars.

I did see some unruly teenager types with firecrackers that they would just light on the sidewalk in the middle of a walking crowd. That wasn't appreciated by the people walking with their small kids.

I think the biggest problem was trying to move that many people into and out of uptown in such a short timeframe. Given the lines at the parking garages, the red lights and the turn lanes I bet it would have taken well over an hour to get out of uptown by car. Hope arena events aren't that much trouble.

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What is wrong with people?

This is going to give a great impression of our downtown...

:angry:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree foxymop. I was a spectator of the awesome display of fireworks and find it quite distasteful for a group of people to ruin a family type event. I watched from 277 and what a view. WBT stated that we have THE Best Firework Show in the SE and are listed in the TOP 5 in the entire US (according to AOL). Quite impressive ! But, to see these types of acts make headlines really pisses me off, as it steal from the true show. It makes Charlotte look bad and it, quite frankly, could cause more people to seek other venues for Fireworks going forward. This can only hurt what Charlotte (and WBT), who have worked so hard in making a great night for all to see. I hope they throw the book at whoever decided to be such an a**. It would serve them right. Throwing a lit rocket into the crowd. This is absloutely ridiculous !C'mon. :angry:

A2

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I won't be back downtown for the events.  I was witness to someone who threw a rocket into a rather large crowd and then watched as he proceeded to run.  Everyone around who saw it was absolutely stunned but considering he didn't look very gentleman like, I doubt many would want to jump him in fear of being shot at.  Why is it that everyone chooses not to behave?  It's sad that such a great event has such pitfalls as this.  I will be elsewhere next year and this will also keep me from attending any other events downtown that attract large crowds such as this.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

that is a HUGE shame. i'im sure there are lots of others in that crowd that won't return for events, too.

That is probably to the shame of CMPD, because if you and people around you had confidence that a police officer was around to arrest the kid, you'd probably feel differently about it. In mega-events like times square new years, there is an army of nypd to make sure anyone being disorderly or criminal is dealt with quickly and effectively so that nothing escalates.

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I guess this is the reason that events such as the one at Queens Landing & Birkdale/Kenton place are getting so large. (though they get almost no coverage in the local news) We went to both and there was no trouble at all, great events no fear at all of riots, shootings, and huge crowds with fights. I understand there were similar events in Cornelus, and Lake Wylie as well.

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This seemed to the be the typical Transit Center/Eastland Mall type of crowd that are always creating problems...young kids.

What happened to Charlotte's curfew?

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I won't be back downtown for the events.  I was witness to someone who threw a rocket into a rather large crowd and then watched as he proceeded to run.  Everyone around who saw it was absolutely stunned but considering he didn't look very gentleman like, I doubt many would want to jump him in fear of being shot at.  .....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Man that is scary! That rocket could have landed in a baby stroller or caused a stampede where people could have gotten hurt.

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I guess this is the reason that events such as the one at Queens Landing & Birkdale/Kenton place are getting so large.  (though they get almost no coverage in the local news)  We went to both and there was no trouble at all, great events no fear at all of riots, shootings, and huge crowds with fights.  I understand there were similar events in Cornelus, and Lake Wylie as well.

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Yes, in the land of safety and white people that is the lake area. This sounds like so many people i know who think very little of downtown and think that the suburbs are so superior in every way. One little incident after years and years of relatively problem free festivals downtown, and yet you say this is a reason events in the burbs are popular? surely you are trying to ruffle feathers, aye?

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This seemed to the be the typical Transit Center/Eastland Mall type of crowd that are always creating problems...young kids.

What happened to Charlotte's curfew?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's the way it looked to me as well. Mostly young thugs.

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The news said they were throwing them into people's cars too. It is really scary and extremely stupid.

Stuff like this sends people to the suburbs.

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Hopefully the Charlotte PD learned their lesson and will have twice the contingent of officers on hand to prevent things from getting out of hand next year. Somebody, somewhere, dropped the ball this year by not recognizing that something like this had the potential to happen.

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Yes, in the land of safety and white people that is the lake area. This sounds like so many people i know who think very little of downtown and think that the suburbs are so superior in every way. One little incident after years and years of relatively problem free festivals downtown, and yet you say this is a reason events in the burbs are popular? surely you are trying to ruffle feathers, aye?

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My guess is that it is just a convenience issue. If I have fireworks in my housing development, I'd stick around there too. Less hassle. This incident won't have a long-lasting effect. On a side note, though, I do notice that police patrols Uptown have been a little less intense this summer. I also notice in 1st Ward a lot more loitering and in larger groups.

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Yes, in the land of safety and white people that is the lake area. This sounds like so many people i know who think very little of downtown and think that the suburbs are so superior in every way. One little incident after years and years of relatively problem free festivals downtown, and yet you say this is a reason events in the burbs are popular? surely you are trying to ruffle feathers, aye?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Huh? Who said anything about White & Black? I think it is wrong to automatically believe that all crime in the downtown is caused by Blacks. I certainly don't. BTW, my next door neighbors are Black and decided to go to Birkdale because they didn't want to bother with the traffic to get into downtown.

But I will tell you that shootings, rocket thowing, and unruley crowds are reasons that people don't go to events in downtown and several who have posted here have said they won't be back because of their experiences. Lets focus on the issue and not try to blame it on a certain race.

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From my post late last night on Charlotte crime:

If crime is the issue, the reason is that CMPD is not allowed to do it's job. Criminals are treated like first class citizens. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes you have to show some muscle. There was a "riot" downtown tonight that took forever to squash because the Officers aren't allowed to bust some heads when they need to.

"Please sir, don't do that. Will you please move to the sidewalk?"

People are definitely overreacting about this. Ever heard the saying, a few bad apples spoil the bunch? This was just a large crowd of teenagers mixed in with the larger group causing trouble. Don't you think if this were actually a riot that the news stations would be fighting each other to get the interview with Jim Bob's cousin's neighbor who thought they heard a gunshot and Susie Q who swears up and down that the Police were brutal to her and used tear gas? If there were truly 2,000 people involved in a riot, there would be many, many more than 20 arrests. We would have been treating people for exposure (to pepper spray/tear gas/etc.). BTW, as for the reports of gunfire, those are called fireworks. Yes, there were shootings last night throughout Charlotte, but I was working the "riot area" and I did not see or hear of any GSW's. And when it all ended, the teenagers broke up into smaller groups and walked back to the surrounding neighborhoods of Wesley Heights, 5 Points, Greer Heights, Piedmont Courts, etc.

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Channel 9 at lunch reported that someone was actually shot (non-fatally) and was sent to the hospital. They showed some video of the scene that was pretty frightening to me.

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I just watched that video and I wasn't impressed (but then again, I work in the emergency field so my tolerance level is much higher than most civilians :) ). It looked like the majority of the people were just walking around in mass with a few people fighting and an occasional firecracker being thrown. A saw quite a few people pointing and laughing at what was going on, both at the fireworks and at people getting arrested.

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As they say in television, "If it bleeds, it leads". I would think it had been really bad, the Charlotte media (especially Channel 9) would have been all over it. I was uptown last night with old neighbors in First Ward. Saw no trouble at all. In fact, I didn't see a darn thing due to the fireworks going off from the west side (not to mention Courtside blocking what little could have been seen). I do know that CMPD could have done a better job of handling traffic.

Anyway, I'll be up there again next year. I'm part of a city, not just a neighborhood. Some people get unruly once and now we're all going to go running for the hills (or worse, the water impoundment facility for nuclear power a/k/a Lake Norman). My God, people die on a seemingly weekly basis during soccer matches in Europe. Chapel Hill students set Franklin Street on fire after they won the Final Four.

I am not justifying poor behavior, but lets not get panic stricken and shut down the event next year. Let's learn from the stupidity of those who did this and not give them the option of ruining it for us next year. Also, let's get WBT to make a decision on where they will shoot the fireworks from and STAY WITH IT! This jumping around uptown from year to year is rediculous.

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