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TOP STORY
Killing but no homicide
 
How many people in Charlotte have died by homicide this year?
 
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department puts the count at 97, but that number paints an incomplete picture.
 
At least 11 others were killed this year in cases where authorities declined to press charges, ruling the killings to be legally justified.
 
Why it matters: By tying the city’s homicide rate to criminal prosecutions, CMPD undercounts the true level of deadly violence in our community.
 
Charlotte hasn’t seen 100 homicides since 1993, when the crack cocaine epidemic had rival gangs battling for turf. But if current trends hold, the city may again see its official homicide count reach triple digits.
 
Criminal vs. justified: North Carolina law permits the killing of a human if the killing is done in self-defense or in defense of another innocent person. When deciding whether a killing is legally justified, CMPD follows a prescribed procedure, outlined in a recent email.
  • Detectives investigate to determine whether a crime was committee, and if so, what crime (murder, voluntary manslaughter, etc.).
  • If a crime has occurred, the department seeks warrants.
  • If evidence indicates that the killing is not criminal, detectives will not seek charges.
  • The Mecklenburg County district attorney’s office reviews the investigation as an “additional layer of review.”
“Civilians are legally justified to use deadly force when they perceive an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to themselves or a third party,” the department said in the statement. “They do not have a duty to retreat if they are acting in an otherwise lawful manner.”

The department also said: "The CMPD places the value of human life at the pinnacle of its operations, as the loss of every life is tragic regardless of the circumstances."
 
The bottom line: The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "homicide" as: “a killing of one human being by another.”

COMMENTARY
Taking a hard look at philanthropy: National Philanthropy Day was created as a way to celebrate charitable activities in communities. The local chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals will recognize the occasion with its annual luncheon this week.

Valaida Fullwood, a founder of the Charlotte giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists, shares an op-ed that looks at how racial and colonial dynamics play a role in philanthropy. She asks, What if we decolonized Charlotte?

In part, Fullwood suggests, "In addition to the litany of pre-K, literacy, mentoring and scholarship programs, let’s also invest in disrupting systems and institutions that perpetually feed the disparities that make such programs necessary."

 Read Valaida's commentary.
FOOD & DRINK
Cheers: Charlotte may be known for its bevy of breweries, but wine lovers are carving out their spaces too.

Whether you’re a wine novice or seasoned aficionado, there is something within the vibrant and ever-growing local wine landscape just for you. 

 Read 3 ways for local wine lovers to get their fix.
SPONSORED
A word from today's sponsor: Foundation For The Carolinas

Some struggle for years to find the right career. Not so for Bryon Lindsay, a North Carolina state police officer.

Lindsay got hooked on law enforcement after taking his first criminal justice class at UNC Charlotte, back in 2005.

“I absolutely loved it,” the Charlotte native recalled. “This definitely seems like a good fit for me, so I stuck with it from my freshman year on.”

Lindsay’s career may have taken a different turn, he says, had he not been awarded a private scholarship for high school students whose families live in subsidized housing.


Read his story and learn more about scholarship opportunities through Foundation For The Carolinas

MORE HEADLINES
Mother charged after 3-year-old falls from escalator and dies (WCNC)

NC’s Medicaid transformation suspended indefinitely (North Carolina Health News)

The Hornets are fun and not the trainwreck we were expecting (SB Nation)
OFFERS & INVITES
BOGO Ticket Offer

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is returning to Charlotte for two performances on Dec. 1 -- at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Blumenthal Performing Arts is offering BOGO tickets to the 6:30 performance, good for price zones 10 and 20. BOGO Here 
HAPPENINGS
Taste of Cuba: SIP (Thurs.): Experience Cuban culture through coffee, cocktails and a new museum exhibit.

Discovering NC Jazz Legends Part 2: Nina Simone (Fri.): Jazz over lunch? Grab your lunch and discover the life and music of N.C. native Nina Simone.

College Football: UNCC vs. Marshall (Sat.): With a 5-5 record, the 49ers are looking to close out the season at home on a high note.

Need more ideas for things to do? Our events calendar has you covered. 
SCENE IN THE CITY
It was another night where the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture used art to address social issues. More than 100 people gathered on Tuesday evening for the museum's latest Talk About Tuesday, which centered around the criminal justice system. 

Artist Sherrill Roland and community organizer Gemini Boyd spoke about their experiences and the impact of incarceration. Social justice advocate Patrice Funderburg and sheriff’s office Youth Program Director Keith Cradle gave context to how systems and language play a role in the prison pipeline.
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