Charlotte Uprising statement on the treatment of Rayquan Borum, a 21 year old Black man being framed for the CMPD murder of demonstrator Justin Carr; CMPD are also targeting and persecuting protestors in Charlotte.
Call to Action: Free Rayquan Borum and All Political Prisoners!
Charlotte, NC – October 26, 2016
On September 20, 2016 Keith Lamont Scott was unjustifiably executed in the street by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The month that has passed since that day has been marked by police intimidating and violently targeting those who protest CMPD’s brutality.
By their actions, Chief Kerr Putney and CMPD have shown themselves to be neither trustworthy nor transparent in their handling of the Keith Scott and Justin Carr cases. The refusal by CMPD to release video from the Keith Scott shooting only exacerbated tensions in the days following his murder. Putney released the video only after cellphone footage released by Scott’s wife raised more questions about the incident and drew national scrutiny to the case.
Many questions also still remain in the case of Justin Carr who was protesting in uptown Charlotte on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 when he was shot in the head and killed. Police claim Carr was shot by Rayquan Borum but witnesses to the incident still contend that it was in fact CMPD who killed Carr by shooting a rubber bullet that hit him in the head. What is not in dispute is that CMPD violated civil liberties and was violent in its actions toward protesters that night, herding people into a corner at the Omni Hotel and then releasing tear gas and rubber bullets on those exercising their first amendment rights.
Since the death of Keith Lamont Scott and Justin Carr, roughly 120 protesters have been unjustly arrested by CMPD. A majority of protesters were not only people of color, but were people of color between the ages 17-24. All these factors are just another reminder of whom the CMPD targets. Almost all protesters who were arrested in connection with Charlotte Uprising have been released; however they’re now dealing with repercussions of being arrested. Their actions during the protest were demonized by all major media outlets, but they were exercising their First and Fourth Amendments rights. Many are recovering from the trauma of being arrested and processed in the system; while others are dealing with the physical, emotional and mental abuse that occurred while they were incarcerated.
The fallacious charges range from misdemeanors to felonies and have jeopardized people’s employment, housing, scholarships, and their livelihood. Many freedoms fighters have already had their cases dismissed due to lack of evidence, so we know that these charges are merely a police tactic meant to suppress further dissent by impacting people’s economic and mental stability. The CMPD has gone even further by surveying protesters social media accounts and then issuing new warrants based on alleged incriminating videos or feeds that defendants don’t have access to. Several protesters were rearrested due to this under handed tactic. One protester who was unaware that they were being re-arrested was picked up in another county only because they posted their location in a Facebook status. Another protester who fell victim to social media surveying was rearrested minutes after being dropped off by an Uber taxi service, which requires your GPS on your phone to remain on.
Rayquan Borum is among several people who have been targeted, arrested and harassed by CMPD since September 21st. Police have issued warrants against protesters, claiming to have incriminating evidence against them from surveillance. Yet such videos, if they exist, have yet to be shown to the arrestees. Police have used these warrants to commit snatch and grab arrests on the streets. In response, protesters have begun to turn themselves in, reporting to the jail with a group of observers and supporters for their safety. In one instance, community activist Gloria Merriweather says they experienced targeted repression while inside Mecklenburg County Jail, with corrections officers threatening to put everyone on lock down if there were any protests outside the jail. Merriweather’s account is consistent with a pattern of state repression inside the jail that has included inmates being refused visitation with loved ones because of protesters holding vigil outside of the jail. There is no basis for punishing inmates inside the jail in response to those outside the jail exercising their first amendment right to peaceably assemble. The only purpose for these actions is to suppress protest and dissent.
Take action to demand the release of Rayquan Borum now!
We therefore demand Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department immediately release of Rayquan Borum from solitary confinement and allow him visitation with his loved ones. We continue to demand a full investigation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department by the US Department of Justice and a dropping of all charges against those arrested in connection with the uprising in Charlotte. There is no such thing as democracy in a police state, and so we further demand an end to police intimidation tactics used to repress those protesting CMPD’s brutality.
We issue a call to action for all who believe in freedom and justice to stand in solidarity with Charlotte Uprising and those being persecuted by CMPD for demanding answers in the murders of Keith Lamont Scott and Justin Carr.
Every day in solitary is torture. YOU CAN HELP TODAY! Call the following administrative officers and demand justice for Rayquan and ALL Charlotte Uprising political prisoners!
Numbers to Call:
Chief Deputy Felicia McAdoo: 980.314.5009
Mecklenberg County Sheriff’s Office: 704.336.2543
Roy Cooper: 919.605.1629
What to Say:
Hello, my name is _______
I am calling to demand the immediate removal of Rayquan Borum from solitary confinement. Rayquan was framed for the murder of Justin Carr and is now being denied access to human contact including visitation and phone calls, as well as proper hygeine and sanitary food. We demand an immediate end to Rayquan’s repression behind bars and that all people arrested in connection with the Charlotte Uprising be released and all charges dropped.
The nation is watching, and we will continue to expose these abuses and demand justice for Rayquan and all Charlotte Uprising political prisoners.