Charlotte, N.C. – (Thursday, May 6, 2021) – Near the end of last year, numerous instances of aggressive driving and street racing compelled several members of the Charlotte community to reach out and express their concerns to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). Over the next six months, a multi-agency effort to address the issue has resulted in more than 2,500 traffic stops, nearly 3,500 violations and the seizure of 60 vehicles.
In October of 2020, the CMPD received several complaints from community members who expressed their concerns for the growing and dangerous activity of aggressive driving and street racing. This behavior transcended minor traffic violations and rose to the level of creating a great public safety threat, so the CMPD immediately began to develop a strategy to address the issue.
The CMPD's Transportation Division identified a significant amount of this activity was taking place near the I-485 and Prosperity Church Road area, so a multi-agency enforcement effort was first launched there, and then moved to the other impacted areas of Charlotte. This initiative spanned six months and resulted in more than 2,500 traffic stops and nearly 3,500 violations. Among these violations were nearly 2,100 charges for speeding, 400 charges for reckless driving, 32 charges for driving while impaired and 10 charges for spontaneous racing violations.
During these operations, officers would encounter a large number of vehicles, often numbering into the hundreds, gathering in various locations around Charlotte to engage in dangerous, high-speed street races. The CMPD then launched an extensive investigation involving the diligent attention and expertise of the CMPD's Transportation Division, Criminal Intelligence, Aviation Unit, Vice and Narcotics Unit, the Real Time Crime Center and several patrol divisions.
After identifying the suspects, the CMPD worked with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office where a Grand Jury indictment was made on 54 suspects, and warrants were issued for the charge of pre-arranged racing. In addition to making the arrest, this charge also authorizes the seizure of the vehicle used in the offense. This morning, a concerted effort across the region has resulted in the charging of 51 out of 54 suspects and the seizure of 60 vehicles. The scope of this operation was significant in both size and complexity and was made possible through collaboration with The North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Union County Sheriff's Office, Gaston County Police Department, Matthews Police Department, Huntersville Police Department, Cornelius Police Department, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office, Rowan County Sheriff's Office and the York County Sheriff's Office.
The investigation has also identified a large number of other people and vehicles either seen spectating or participating in these events. Approximately 300 individuals will soon be receiving a warning letter from Chief of Police Johnny Jennings detailing the types of charges they could face if they continue to engage in these dangerous and reckless activities. A copy of the letter can be found here.
During the investigation, the CMPD's Criminal Intelligence Unit identified several videos posted online depicting these events. In order to provide visual context surrounding the egregious and dangerous behaviors of those participating in these events, the CMPD is providing two of these videos, which are posted on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHhxJiI5uUM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3rskycUgeo.
The CMPD continues to conduct additional investigation. Anyone with information about these events are asked to let officers know by calling 911. The public can also leave information anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.