McCrory comments on Charlotte violent protests

Adam Rhew—Charlotte Magazine
Police officers wearing riot gear block a road during protests Tuesdayafter police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott earlier in the dayin the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte.

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement Wednesday on the violent protests that occurred in Charlotte following the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, 43, Tuesday night. More than a dozen police officers were injured in the violence. “I’ve been in conversations with the mayor and other city officials since early this morning,” McCrory said in a statement. “We will do everything we can to support the mayor and the police chief in their efforts to keep the community calm and to get this situation resolved. “It’s very important that we all work together as a team to solve a very difficult issue and to bring peace and resolution. My prayers are with the Scott family and also our law enforcement, especially the 16 police officers who were injured last night. As governor I’m going to do everything I can to support the entire city leadership in their effort to resolve this situation.” A black Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer on Tuesday killed Scott, who had been seen entering a vehicle with a handgun, Chief Kerr Putney said at a news conference on Wednesday. Scott was surrounded by police and was shot after he exited the car and did not obey officers’ instructions to drop his weapon, Putney said.”He stepped out, posing a threat to the officers, and Officer Brentley Vinson subsequently fired his weapon, striking the subject,” Putney said, adding that police acted heroically in trying to stem the protests that followed.Scott’s family said he was reading in his car and was unarmed, while Putney said police recovered a handgun they said Scott was holding.”I can also tell you we did not find a book,” Putney said. “We did find a weapon.”North Carolina allows for the open carry of handguns, including having a pistol in a vehicle. Following the shooting, demonstrations turned violent as looters reportedly pillaged a Walmart and set fire to vehicles. One protester was arrested, and several were injured in demonstrations that blocked an interstate highway. Protesters set fires and stoned police cars, Putney said. Police deployed gas to disperse the crowd.More protests were expected Wednesday, and Putney said: “It is time to change the narrative.”At the same news conference, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts called for patience with the investigation.The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina on Wednesday said police should release body and dash camera footage from the shooting scene.Reuters News Service contributed to this report.