Crowds spilled out into the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina on day three of unrest Thursday night, but the curfew was not enforced.
CNN said that police had decided to not enforce the curfew as long as the protests remained peaceful. So far, on Thursday, they generally had, although two officers were sprayed by a chemical agent, the police department said.
That’s compared, anyway, to the unrest that exploded in Charlotte on Wednesday, September 21 and early Thursday as people took to the streets over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. A state of emergency was declared, and National Guard troops were seen on the streets Thursday night as people milled in the middle of roadways.
The relative calm, though, stands in contrast to the violence Wednesday. One person, Justin Carr, was killed after being shot in the head, although by whom (a civilian or officer) is under investigation.
A man was beaten in a parking garage, as violence escalated, businesses were looted, and squad cars vandalized. At least 20 police officers have been injured, none life-threatening, over the first two days of rioting.
The city had initially said the demonstrator was killed, but then updated the information to say the protester was on life support and had been critically injured. However, WCNC Charlotte said September 22 that the man has now died.
The city tweeted that the shooter was a civilian, not a police officer, but the chief said that was unclear and being investigated. WSOC-TV said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney had confirmed the shooting occurred uptown during the riots/protests. According to the New York Times, “a demonstration was interrupted by gunfire” and struck a man “in the crowd.” Witnesses told NBC Charlotte’s Ty Chandler “that at least one person was shot outside the Epicentre in front of the Omni Hotel and officers used tear gas to break up the crowds gathering,” said WCNC-TV.
On Wednesday and early Thursday, police in riot gear lined up in the middle of the street facing groups of demonstrators who were shouting at times. They used tear gas and fired flash bangs to disorient demonstrators as the scene grew more chaotic. Demonstrators, some wearing masks and with cell phones whirring, threw things at police and shouted at them from a few feet, if that, away. Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CNN she had been in contact with the White House and governor’s office. Fires broke out in the street.
Photos were published showing the person who was shot and wounded:
See more scene photos here (warning: graphic.)
One man, Mills Shaka Zulu Gill, who drew more than 1 million views to his Facebook Live videos from the scene in Charlotte on Tuesday, was back broadcasting live on Facebook on September 21:
Watch CNN live streaming coverage of Thursday night’s continued unrest below (click to watch the live CNN coverage from Charlotte despite the debate thumbnail. If you click play, the video will stream the live Charlotte coverage):
The days of rioting in Charlotte came after Scott’s shooting by Officer Brentley Vinson. Both Vinson and Scott were black.
The growing unrest was compared to scenes from Ferguson by some on social media and network television.
Police insisted again on Wednesday afternoon that Scott was armed with a gun when Vinson shot him after police encountered him while trying to serve a warrant on someone else, and police said Scott posed an imminent deadly threat. The police chief, who like Vinson and Scott is also black, pushed back hard at the social media narrative that Scott was holding only a book; the chief said this was false and that police found no book at the scene. The City of Charlotte released a detailed lists of what it called facts in the Scott death. You can read it here.
The chief said in a news conference on Thursday that body camera video from the scene does not definitively show Scott pointing the gun, though, according to The Associated Press. He said the videos will be shared with the family but not the public at this time.
Justin Bamberg, the attorney for Scott’s family, told CNN that Scott’s wife witnessed the shooting. The family watched the body cam video of the shooting, and Bamberg told Anderson Cooper: “His hands are down by his side, he’s acting calm…he looks to be confused. You do see something in his hand but it’s impossible to make out what it is.” At the moment Scott was shot, he “appeared to be stepping backwards,” he said. Bamberg claimed Scott didn’t have a gun and didn’t own one.
A local news reporter released a photo, obtained from a police source, that purportedly showed the gun recovered at the scene.
Police were disbursing tear gas.
CNN reporter Ed Lavandera was struck on live TV. Watch:
Police were bringing in large speaker systems to tell people to disburse.
Watch livestream coverage of Wednesday night’s unrest here:
Protests are growing in Charlotte, North Carolina over the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.Click here to read more
Learn more about Officer Vinson here:
Brentley Vinson was identified as the Charlotte, North Carolina police officer who was involved in shooting Keith Lamont Scott.Click here to read more