CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Following a review of crowd control tactics employed during the recent protests, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has announced several amendments to its Civil Emergency Units Standard Operating Procedure.

Chief Kerr Putney announced the changes on Tuesday. CMPD says the following updates have been made, effective immediately:

  • When a dispersal order is given, the verbal order and avenues of escape will be audibly communicated loudly, clearly, and repeatedly to the crowd.
  • The deployment of riot control agents (RCAs) is intended to disperse unlawful crowds to stop riotous behavior and activity and ensure the safety of the public and officers. Prior to deploying RCAs, dispersal orders must be given, unless exigent circumstances exist.
  • If a dispersed crowd reassembles at another location after a lapse in time, additional dispersal orders must be given, absent exigent circumstances.
    • Example: An unlawful crowd is engaged in riotous behavior and disperses to a new location and begins an unlawful but peaceful march, the previous behavior in and of itself may not solely be justification to take enforcement action for the dispersal of the unlawful crowd.  Therefore, a new dispersal order must be given.

CMPD has been reviewing actions taken by riot control agents during the recent, sometimes violent demonstrations, that occured in Uptown following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The department came under heavy scrutiny after video posted to social media showed authorities firing tear gas into a crowd that was seemingly boxed-in.

The department said in a release, "CMPD is a learning agency and will continue to ensure its policies, procedures, and tactics continue to be in line with the high standards the department holds itself to."