Around 4p.m. yesterday on Old Concord Road, located conveniently 1½ mile from UNCC campus and right beside of Aspen University Apartments, 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a CMPD police officer. Despite a current lack of ruling on whether the case was another tick in the mark of police brutality or an incident involving Scott with a gun, the greater Charlotte and UNCC community reacted as poorly, as expected, in the face of adversity.
Many students took to the streets from local apartments to see the scene for themselves.
“I’m making a difference by walking out to the scene to stream live from my Facebook three hours after the incident,” junior Chelsea Gold said. A resident of Circle Apartments, Gold was able to walk to the scene just hours after the incident, rather than stay indoors as recommended. “I think I’ve done my part by showing my 10 minutes of coverage and adding plenty of Snapchats for my friends back home. We need more voices like mine out there.”
However, throughout these incidents, students not immediately on social media or tuned into a news station were oblivious to the entire situation. Deciding early on it was easiest for the university administration to remain quiet, students and parents did not receive an announcement of any form from social media or email, all the way from 4p.m. yesterday to today at 9:30a.m.
“I chose UNCC because it’s a safe campus,” said freshman Ryan Peterson. “Having the chancellor refuse to tell us what’s going on until the next morning really gives me the peace of mind I need to continue with my life and classes like nothing’s happening.”
Senior Chase Williams agreed. “I’m really glad we get emails from the campus police every week about possible thunderstorms and flash flood warnings to stay inside, but keeping a shooting and protests only a mile and a half from campus quiet is revolutionary,” Williams praised. “It’s nice for a large, public university to show they care about their students and campus safety.”
In a record-breaking 17 hours, Chancellor Dubois released an official statement addressing the UNCC community.
“Racial shootings and police brutality just aren’t a big concern for us,” Chancellor Dubios implied this morning. “Creating an educational dialogue might be… if I get enough backlash from parents and students… but I just don’t see that happening. The best way to handle dangerous situations is to not alert students at all.”
The comment section on Facebook from UNCC’s statement was as satisfactory as all hoped. Students and parents reacted immediately, where the top comment reads as follows:
While social media provided a productive breeding ground for arguments to form between concerned parents and apathetic UNCC students, calls for classes to be cancelled were met with a deaf ear, just like the students ignoring frantic phone calls from parents. Campus lacked violent protests today, and the chancellor appropriately called for a discussion in the Student Union this afternoon.
While it might not be clear where the Scott case is heading or what this might mean for the greater Charlotte community, we’ve learned learned for the future that it’s probably best if we don’t know about any potentially dangerous issues until at least 16 hours after it’s over.