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What Happened In Marlow Case? The unofficial version

Inquiring minds want to know what exactly is going on over at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Heck, inquiring minds inside the PD want to know exactly what transpired before, during and after off-duty vice officer Michael Marlow took what appears to be a few shots at a transvestite who somehow wound up in his take-home squad car, which was unmarked.

In Marlow's version, the official one, he stopped on North Davidson Street at about 3:30am January 8 to help a distressed person on the side of the road. Once in Marlow's car, the individual, a man dressed as a woman, refused to get out and a scuffle broke out in which at least two shots were fired, both of which Marlow neglected to report to his superiors. In the weeks after the incident, Marlow resigned, and his superior in the vice division, Sergeant James Stevens, was transferred to the uptown police district.

The unofficial version makes a lot more sense even though it is, of course, officially unconfirmed. Several sources within the police department -- and CL has many -- say Marlow joined other off-duty vice officers after work that night for a beer bash on the 8th floor of the police parking deck off Trade Street behind the station. Before leaving, Marlow, who has regularly participated in prostitution busts as a vice officer, supposedly bragged to fellow officers that he planned to "go get himself a blow job."

Sources say Marlow's call to the department after the scuffle with the transvestite came within hours of the time he allegedly left the police party. Ironically enough, the transvestite, Franklin Freeman, was charged with resisting an officer and assault on a government official. The charges against Freeman, 34, have since been dropped.

Our sources also say that Stevens, Marlow's supervisor, was transferred not as a punishment for what Marlow did off duty, but because the aforementioned beer bash wasn't exactly department-sanctioned. Sources tell conflicting stories about the size of the deck bash and whether any supervisors or higher-ranking vice officers were present or knew that it was going on. But all agree that drinking gatherings on the deck among off-duty officers, and in particular vice officers coming off late-night shifts, occurred regularly.

And although Stevens' transfer is the only publicly acknowledged action taken by the department as it relates to the Marlow incident, our sources say other vice officers connected with the incident have been shuffled around the department over the last month as well. The PD is quickly and quietly trying to fill now-vacant spots on vice, I'm told, and has offered those spots to a number of patrol officers. *

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