CHARLOTTE Residents of Charlotte woke to a state of emergency Thursday with National Guard troops deployed on the streets after a second night of violent protests over the fatal police shooting of a black man.One person was on life support after being shot by a civilian late Wednesday as riot police used tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades to try to disperse demonstrators who looted stores and threw rocks, bottles and fireworks.Four police officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, city officials said.The latest trouble erupted after a peaceful rally earlier in the evening by protesters who reject the official account of how Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was gunned down by a black police officer in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon.Authorities say Scott was wielding a handgun and was shot after refusing commands to drop it. His family and a witness say he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott, said Wednesday evening that her family was “devastated” and had “more questions than answers” about her husband’s death.She said she respected the rights of those who wanted to demonstrate, but asked they do so peacefully.But the pleas appeared to go mostly unheeded. Overnight, protesters smashed windows and glass doors at a downtown Hyatt hotel and punched two employees, the hotel’s manager told Reuters. The slogan “Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on windows.Looters were seen smashing windows and grabbed items from a convenience store as well as a team shop for the Charlotte Hornets. Protesters also set fire to trash cans.It was the second night of unrest in the state’s largest city and one of the biggest U.S. financial centers. Sixteen police officers and several protesters were injured Tuesday night and in the early hours of Wednesday.’VIOLENCE NOT TOLERATED’Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency late Wednesday night and began the process of deploying the National Guard and state highway patrol officers to the city to help restore peace.”Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated,” McCrory said in a statement late on Wednesday.Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts was considering a curfew and Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, told employees not to report to work at its uptown offices, local media reported.McCrory’s opponent in November’s gubernatorial race, Attorney General Roy Cooper, also called for an end to rioting.”Violence will not bring justice. I urge everyone in Charlotte tonight to heed the call for peaceful demonstration,” Cooper said in a statment. “We must come together as a community to get answers and find a better path forward. Already tonight we have seen civilians, police and emergency responders injured. This must stop.I’ve spoken to Mayor Roberts and have offered her the full assistance of the N.C. Department of Justice.”The killing of Scott came just days after a fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Okla., that was recorded on video. Protesters have held peaceful rallies demanding the arrest of the female officer involved.U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone Wednesday with the mayors of Charlotte and Tulsa, a White House official said.The two deaths were the latest in a series of police shootings over the last couple of years that have raised questions about racial bias in U.S. law enforcement. They have also made policing and community relations a major topic ahead of the presidential election in November.The ACLU of North Carolina called on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to release camera footage of the incident. Authorities have said the officer who shot Scott, Brentley Vinson, was in plainclothes and not wearing a body camera. But according to officials, video was recorded by other officers at the scene, and by cameras mounted on patrol cars.Todd Walther, the Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police official, said the plainclothes officers were wearing vests marked “police” and that he saw them do nothing wrong. Releasing the video would satisfy some people, but not everyone, he added, and people will have to wait for the investigation to conclude.Mayor Roberts said she planned to view the footage Thursday, but did not indicate if or when it would be made public.The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, called for the “full release of all facts available,” and said NAACP officials planned to meet with city officials and members of Scott’s family on Thursday.
After violent protests Charlotte works to clean up, while Charlotte police urge patience on release of shooting video
CHARLOTTE – Police in Charlotte say that, for the moment, they do not plan to release a video showing the fatal shooting of a black man by officers. The event has sparked two nights of […]
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