CHARLOTTE The Charlotte police department issued 95 arrest warrants Friday in connection with the city’s recent riots. Protests over the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott turned to property damage, looting and violence in Charlotte last week, leading to a state of emergency and city-wide curfew.Police say 82 people have already been apprehended and authorities are asking for the public’s help identifying others.”These arrests are largely due to the countless hours of video surveillance and tireless work from investigators to bring these suspects to justice,” the CMPD statement said.The arrests are the latest in the Charlotte saga that has triggered criticism of Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ handling of the investigation and violence in the Queen City. On Wednesday, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) demanded the mayor release complete police videos of the shooting, accusing her of secrecy and attempting to deflect responsibility for the chaos.”Let me be clear Mayor Jennifer Roberts has a moral obligation to the citizens of Charlotte to release all police videos related to the Keith Scott incident immediately,” said Berger. “First she botched her city’s response to last week’s riots from initially brushing off Gov. Pat McCrory’s multiple offers of state resources, like the National Guard, to ignoring repeated calls from her community and the press for transparency and answers.”His comments follow an angry Charlotte city council meeting on Monday where more than 100 people packed the meeting room calling for Roberts’ and police chief Kerr Putney’s resignations. Some of the demonstrators refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the meeting, others heckling and chanting. The public comment period went on for two hours as the mayor called for quiet in the group several times.”You don’t deserve to be mayor of this fine city,” said Charlotte resident Henry Lee to Roberts in the meeting. “You are on the verge bringing this city to its knees.”The controversy over the shooting and the city’s partial release of body camera video added fuel to the national debate about police tactics when dealing with African-American men. Scott and the officer who shot him were both African-American. Details about Scott’s past also came to light this week. A protective order filed by his wife in 2015 claimed he assaulted her and her 8-year-old child, threatening to kill them with a gun. Texas police also confirmed in 2002 he was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of shooting a man. The records complicated the arguments but did little to quell public calls for a leadership change in the city.In the wake of the controversy, Roberts called for the reversal of the body camera law that went into effect Saturday. The statewide body camera law allows citizens to petition a judge to force release of police body camera footage, even if the local authorities refuse or only release part of it, as the Charlotte police did last week. Roberts said in an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer that its implementation should be stopped because it would hurt the city’s efforts “[to earn] back the trust of communities that for too long have been underserved and mistreated.”As the city spent the week cleaning up from the demonstrations and trying to find a solutions to public concerns, Justin Carr, who was shot in the head during the riot, was laid to rest on Wednesday. Police have charged 21-year-old Rayquan Borum in connection with the shooting.
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