North Carolina

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

Summary

Key:

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Legislation Achieved

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Some Progress

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No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. Locally, the police Chief of Charlotte ended the use of no-knock warrants in July 2020.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments. In fact, more than 30 departments had mine resistant vehicles as of June 2020.

Military style training

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.

SWAT data

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

Some Progress:

Asset forfeiture in North Carolina requires a criminal conviction. However, the state still participates in the federal Equitable Sharing Program, by which federal officers can still seize assets without a conviction.

Quotas

Some Progress:

While the Highway Patrol has made the use of quotas illegal, NC lacks a state-wide ban.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering. In November, the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice recommended decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana possession. According to their report, 63% of those convicted of simple marijuana possession in 2019 were people of color, even though they only make up 30% of the population.

Objective justification for stops

Some Progress:

Police officers must provide "objective proof" that ties the crime they were investigating to the "high crime area." There's some leeway here, so police officers can stop and search people if they suspect a crime. Unjustified police stops have not been made illegal in the State.

Reporting stop details

Some Progress:

Police officers are required to file a comprehensive report when use of force is administered but these reports are not required to be made public. Additionally, officers are required to demonstrate objective proof that ties an arrest in a high crime area to the area itself but this currently allows them to stop individuals based on suspicion.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law institutionalizing an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct. North Carolina has a State Bureau of Investigation, but that will only be called in to investigate misconduct if specifically requested.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

North Carolina has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

As of 2015, 33% of all North Carolina law enforcement officers were certified in Crisis Intervention Training through the state's CIT program. Although a comprehensive task force was created in 2015 in order to help implement mental health reforms in the State and provides recommendations, there is no mandate that requires all police departments around the State to adopt the measures.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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