Unsealed documents reveal extent of CMPD phone tracking

Documents reveal CMPD's cellphone tracking

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Unsealed court documents reveal the extent of CMPD's secret cellphone tracking.

The district attorney is now reviewing hundreds of criminal cases because of it, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The paperwork includes brief descriptions, including names, cellphone numbers and cellphone jargon.

There are thousands of pages.

The Charlotte Observer reports CMPD used secret cellphone surveillance to make several high profile arrests, including Angelo Smith, Jr., the ex-boyfriend of teacher Bianca Tanner, now charged with her murder.

City Manager Ron Carlee says the equipment used to track people down is for limited and legitimate law enforcement purposes, targeting specific people who pose a threat to the community.

It was only used with a court order and did not include listening to cellphone conversations, Carlee said in a memorandum.

According to reports, one issue is what, if anything, CMPD might have learned through the secret surveillance, and whether the information was shared with defense attorneys.

That's why the district attorney's office is reviewing them.

This is part of CMPD's response:

"Over the years, we have used cell phone data to assist in the investigation of numerous homicides, rapes, and kidnappings. This advance in technology is one of the tools that has helped CMPD fight crime and significantly lower the crime rate over the past several years."


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