The Charlotte City Council held a surprise vote this morning in which they rescinded a non-discrimination ordinance passed in February with the understanding that it would lead to the full repeal of the infamous House Bill 2 by the North Carolina General Assembly as soon as tomorrow.
Governor-elect Roy Cooper released a statement following the city council's vote stating that he was told by NCGA leaders that a special session would be called for tomorrow with the goal of fully repealing House Bill 2, which is credited with losing the state millions of dollars in revenue due to boycotts and lost opportunities for economic development.
"Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte's vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB2 in full. I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full," Cooper wrote in the statement. "Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state."
A section of the ordinance passed today states that it will no longer be valid if HB2 is not repealed by December 31.
Governor Pat McCrory's office released a statement confirming that he would call for a special session, claiming that the timing of the surprise vote proved that the entire issue was political in nature, aimed at unseating McCrory.
"Governor McCrory has always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were always blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists," wrote Graham Wilson, McCrory's press secretary. "This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves the entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor's race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state."
A statement released following the council's surprise vote reads in part, "The City of Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects its people. The Charlotte City Council recognizes the ongoing negative economic impact resulting from the passage of the City's Non-Discrimination Ordinance and the State's House Bill 2. The Council acknowledges that North Carolina House Bill 2 'supersede(s) and preempt(s)' the City's Ordinance. In order to continue thriving as an inclusive community and compete for high paying jobs and world-class events, the City and State must take action together to restore our collective reputation."
The surprise vote has been criticized by Charlotteans on social media who see it as a capitulation in a struggle the city has undergone against the state for nearly the entire year. Three months ago today, Jennifer Roberts stated clearly in a press conference that the city would not consider repealing the non-discrimination ordinance.
Five people have been charged following shootings in the NoDa and Plaza Midwood areas on Saturday night that happened within 30 minutes of each other.
The first shooting happened just before 10:30 p.m. in front of the Spice Lounge on North Tryon Street, just outside of the NoDa neighborhood. At least two people fired shots in the club's parking lot during what was apparently a teenaged party. Four victims were transported to the hospital, all between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. One of the victim's injuries were considered life-threatening, although as of Monday morning, nobody has died as a result of the shooting.
Two teenagers were arrested and charged following the incident, although police believe the suspect who actually shot into the crowd is still on the loose. Police arrested Carnis Poindexter, Jr., 16, and charged him with possession of a firearm by a minor after finding a gun in his car following the shooting. Another 15-year-old juvenile was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a minor and shooting in the city limits. Police say the juvenile was riding with Poindexter and admitted to shooting a gun into the air after the original shooting occurred.
About 30 minutes later, in a completely unrelated incident, a couple was shot following an armed robbery in Plaza Midwood. According to police, the couple was shot right under the Family Dollar sign in the middle of the neighborhood, where many people park to go to the surrounding bars and restaurants.
According to Lt. Durant with CMPD's Eastway division, a bike patrol that had been assigned for the area following the shooting death of Ketie Jones in October had been pulled out to help with the North Tryon shooting when the robbery happened in Plaza Midwood. However, two CMPD officers were working security nearby and heard the shots. One rendered aid to the victims while the other pursued the suspects. The suspects eventually crashed their car in front of the Presbyterian Hospital. A foot chase ensued and one person was arrested. Further investigation led to the arrest of two more suspects.
Recent reports state that 25-year-old Antonio Worthy has been charged with
two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Jamall Glenn, 33, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and two counts of hit and run. Ebonee Ward, 29, was charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.