Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings on Tuesday called three shootings over the past week that involved his officers “a disturbing trend.”
Early Tuesday, a CMPD officer was shot in the leg after responding to a 911 call at a bar in NoDa. Jennings said the wounded officer will recover. Police have located a person of interest, CMPD said.
Last Thursday, a man fired gunshots at police from inside a home after officers responded to a call to assist a Medic team. A SWAT team de-escalated the situation with a negotiator, and officers didn’t fire back, CMPD said. No officers were injured, CMPD said.
On Sunday, Kevin Boston, a 45-year-old, single father of three fired at officers, police said. The officers returned fire, striking Boston, who died at a hospital. Police said Boston was a suspect in an armed robbery of a Food Lion on Tuckaseegee Road in west Charlotte.
“However we have a serious issue within society as a whole, not just here in Charlotte but across our nation that gunfire seems to be the most common theme when it comes to violence in our cities,” Jennings said in a video recorded at the shooting scene in NoDa.
It's a disturbing trend that our men and women in uniform are being fired at while doing their jobs, and it’s not just in Charlotte where this is happening. My message from the scene in Noda this morning: https://t.co/ix5TwPYMLg (2/2)
— Chief Jennings (@cmpdchief) June 28, 2022
“We need to turn the narrative that we see so often about the vilification of law enforcement, police officers, and realize what they really and truly do and that’s to try and keep our community safe,” he said.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9, which advocates for law enforcement officers in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, posted on Facebook to say Charlotte must do better. The FOP statement emphasized the number of shootings in recent weeks, asking where the violence interrupters are.
“When will this violence stop?” the FOP asked.
In a statement to The Charlotte Observer, FOP Lodge 9 President Daniel Redford said there is a crime problem in Charlotte.
“We are grateful the officer’s injuries aren’t life threatening and (the officer) is expected to recover,” Redford said. “The events (Tuesday) morning are unsettling, especially after CMPD officers just faced two separate incidents where shots were fired at them.”
Redford said reform is needed within the bond system.
“Babies are being murdered and shot, and those committing these heinous acts are getting younger and younger,” he said. “Our court system seemingly rewards criminality by letting violent offenders out on low/no bonds.”