The scene from Wednesday’s riots in Charlotte, NC is appalling. From a video of a white man beaten and dragged by a mob. Another video shows the brother of the black man whose death in a police shooting started protests, telling the media that white people are “devils.”
The police officer that shot Scott was African American.
Two days after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott died, Charlotte officials appeal for calm on Thursday, just hours after violent riots over Scott’s death. The uproar injured several police officers and civilians, resulting in 44 arrests.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory called in the National Guard and declared a state of emergency at 12:30 a.m. after Charlotte’s police chief said he needed assistance.
“The events that we saw last night are not the Charlotte I know and love,” Mayor Jennifer Roberts said during a Thursday morning news conference. “They are not reflective of our community, of the deep traditions we have of collaboration and peace.”
Roberts called for a an open investigation regarding the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, 43. olice Chief Kerr Putney of Charlotte-Mecklenburg will not publicly release the video of the incident. Putney said Scott’s family wants to see the video first, and authorities are trying to “accommodate” that request.
What began Wednesday evening as a prayer vigil in honor of Scott’s shooting turned into an angry march, followed by a night of violence. As protesters charged police in riot gear while protecting an upscale hotel, an unidentified civilian was shot.
Riots In Charlotte Cause Outrage Throughout Country
Right after the shooting, video’s show someone lying in a pool of blood as people scream and call for help. The people are then told to back away from the scene.
Two police officers are receiving treatment for eye injuries and three others for heat-related issues as a result of the chaos, Putney said. Nine civilians are also hurt. Those under arrest are facing charges of multiple crimes, including assault, failure to disperse, and breaking and entering.
Protesters were screaming “black lives matter” and “hands up; don’t shoot” while cursing at police blocking the intersections. Officers in riot gear lined up arm in arm outside of the Omni hotel as protesters approached. A few threw bottles and clumps of dirt at the officers.
Police began firing flash grenades immediately after the Omni shooting, and protesters threw fireworks back. The crowd of hundreds finally dispersed when police fired tear gas.
But not all of the protesters left. Police in riot gear began marching arm in arm through Charlotte intersections. They shot tear gas at people who tried to charge them.
Putney stood up for the actions of his officers’ in an interview Wednesday. “We’re trying to disperse the crowd,” Putney said. “We’ve been very patient, but now they’ve become very violent.”