Violent Protests Break Out in Charlotte Following Fatal Shooting
Overnight protests in Charlotte, North Carolina led law enforcement to suit up in self-defense riot gear, disperse tear gas and more when the demonstration turned violent, injuring 16 police officers.
The protests broke out Tuesday, Sept. 20 after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by a black officer at an apartment complex on the city’s northeast side. Police had been dispatched to the area in search of a suspect they had an arrest warrant for.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, police approached Scott giving him loud, clear verbal commands to exit his car. When he did so, he brandished a gun, threatening the officers. One officer, a black man, discharged his weapon once hitting Scott. Officers immediately called for paramedics and began the CPR process on Scott but he later succumbed to his injury.
A Facebook post written by a woman claiming to be Scotts daughter asserted that Scott had been shot while unarmed, sitting in his car reading a book. The Associated Press and other news sources have been unable to verify the authenticity of this post.
“"It's time to change the narrative.” Chief Putney said during a press conference on Wednesday morning. “I can tell you from the facts; the story is different than what has been portrayed through social media."
Police revealed at the press conference that a gun had been recovered from the scene of the shooting and they were unable to find evidence that a book was present.
Tuesday night, a large group of demonstrators gathered near the scene of the shooting. The police tweeted that the demonstrators were destroying marked police vehicles and that approximately 12 officers had been injured at the time. One police officer sustained injuries to the face after rock was thrown at him.
Photos and TV video show police firing tear gas to break up the crowd. Chief Putney explained that officers were unable to calm the crowd and no matter what tactics they used, they continued to push through the police lines, causing them to disperse the tear gas.
The unrest comes just hours after Tulsa Police Department released footage of the shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed last week.