Violent protests raged in Charlotte for the second night over the police shooting of an African-American man, prompting the North Carolina governor to declare a state of emergency.
One person was left on life support after getting shot by another civilian Wednesday night during the unrest, the city tweeted. Earlier, the city had said the person had died.
At least four officers suffered injuries that were not life threatening during the protests Wednesday, according to police.
Gov. Pat McCrory said he would deploy the state National Guard and highway patrol to Charlotte.
“We cannot tolerate violence. We cannot tolerate the destruction of property and will not tolerate the attacks against our police officers that is occurring right now,” he told CNN on Wednesday night.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CNN she would consider options including a curfew if the protests continue.
‘It was madness’
What started off as peaceful protests descended into chaos Wednesday night, with some protesters overturning trash cans and setting the contents on fire.
Onlookers cheered as a masked man shattered a hotel window while another one hurled rocks through it. Others spray-painted “black lives matter” on business windows and smashed car windows.
“I was right in the thick of it,” witness Zach Locke said. “People found whatever objects they could to break glasses. It was madness.”
Some stores were looted, including the Charlotte Hornets’ NBA store, local media reported.
Marcus DiPaulo, a freelance photographer, told CNN he saw some rioters knock over an ATM and grab money from it.
The Hyatt House Hotel in downtown went into lockdown as protesters tossed bricks through the window. A valet and front desk attendant were punched in the face by protesters, hotel manager Matt Allen told CNN.
Some rioters and protesters dispersed after police fired tear gas before 11 p.m. ET.
The second day of protests broke out after the city’s police chief gave more details on the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Chief Kerr Putney addressed Scott family’s claim that he was reading a book in his vehicle when police officers approached and shot him Tuesday afternoon.
Moments after her father was shot, Lyric Scott had started recording on Facebook Live, screaming at officers on the scene.
“They shot my daddy ’cause he’s black,” she said. “He was sitting in his car reading a mother******* book. So they shot him. That’s what happened.”
Putney said Scott was armed and no book was found at the scene.
He was shot by an African-American officer after refusing repeated demands to put down a gun, Putney said, adding that a gun was recovered from the scene.
Putney said evidence and witnesses support the officers’ claim that Scott was armed.
“It’s time for the voiceless majority to stand up and be heard,” said the police chief, who is black.
“It’s time to change the narrative because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media,” he said.
Officers repeatedly told Scott to drop his handgun, the chief said, but he didn’t. Officer Brentley Vinson, who is black, then shot him.
The chief said he was not certain whether Scott pointed his gun at officers.
Vinson, who was in plain clothes and wearing a police vest, did not have a body camera. Three uniformed officers were wearing cameras. There are also dash cam recordings and investigators are reviewing the footage, Putney said.
Tensions over police shootings
The Charlotte case is the latest in a series of controversial shootings of black men by police. Protesters have been demanding justice and an end to police brutality for months.
Last week’s fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sparked protests after video of the killing was aired Monday.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged the country’s racial tensions after the latest police shootings, but denounced the violence that erupted in Charlotte.
“Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change. But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve.”
State of emergency
Not all protests in the city were violent.
Witnesses who attended demonstrations earlier in the evening said they were largely peaceful, but the tone changed markedly to a more violent scene throughout the night.
Annette Albright, who attended the protests, said those misbehaving need direction.
“We don’t have leadership that this crowd can relate to,” Albright said. “We know how to protest and have our voices heard in a civilized way but who is going to teach the younger crowd? Church leaders need to get out there and tell these kids that this is not the right way.”
Journalists were not spared, either. CNN’s Ed Lavandera was attacked by a protester while he was reporting live Wednesday night as well as local journalists.
Source: WGN 9