Man Is Shot During Second Night of Protests in Charlotte Over Police Killing
A man was shot and remains in critical condition following the continued protests on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday night. Citizens and police stood face to face while tear gas flew and fires burned, as unrest erupted over the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man, on Tuesday afternoon.
Police have said that the shooting was civilian-on-civilian, and as of yet there are no suspects. Initially, it was reported that the victim was killed, but police corrected that. Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency.
On Tuesday, a police officer named Brentley Vinson shot and killed Scott outside an apartment complex. Though there is video of the event, it has not been shared publicly. Charlotte Chief of Police Kerr says Scott was "armed with a handgun," but Scott's daughter insisted after the shooting that he had been unarmed. Police say they repeatedly ordered Scott to drop his weapon before firing; residents there, however, claim that Scott had only a book not a gun.
These conflicting versions of events is a leading cause of the chaos on the streets the last two nights. Charlotte's mayor, Jennifer Roberts, told a local radio station that police will show the video to members of Scott's family, but that it will not be released to the public until the investigation is complete.
Scott's wife, Rakeiya, issued a statement Wednesday:
After listening to remarks made by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Putney today, we have more questions than answers about Keith's death.... Rest assured, we will work diligently to get answers to our questions as quickly as possible
As a family, we respect the rights of those who wish to protest, but we ask that people protest peacefully. Please do not hurt people or members of law enforcement, damage property or take things that do not belong to you in the name of protesting.
The incident in Charlotte comes soon after another black man was killed by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last Friday. Two days prior to that, police shot and killed a teenager who had been holding a BB gun in Columbus, Ohio.
The protests in Charlotte began peacefully on Tuesday night, but soon grew violent as police in riot gear fired tear gas and concussion canisters into the crowds. Several businesses were looted and there were multiple incidents of property destruction. Members of the North Carolina National Guard are set to arrive on the scene soon.