A State of emergency was declared in Charlotte city by North Carolina government Pat McCrory after a man was shot in protests over death of Keith Lamont Scott by the police.
It wsa the second night of unrest in Charlotte, as demonstrators call for justice following the killing of Keith Lamont Scott by police. The National Guard and State Troopers will be deployed to assist police.
Observers in Charlotte reported that one person was shot outside of an Omni Hotel in a commercial district in the city late Wednesday night. The victims that were rushed to hospital were reported to have sustained life threatening injuries.
Police insist that the black man shot in Charlotte was carrying a gun. City of Charlotte officials say that the victim is currently in critical condition and on life support. They previously tweeted that the shooting was fatal. The shooting is believed to be “civilian on civilian”, and police fired no shots.
One gunshot can be heard in video broadcast by MSNBC. Moments later, a group of people appear to carry a victim into the hotel.
The Authorities are ordering demonstrators to disperse while firing tear gas and flash-bangs into crowds. At least a dozen protesters have been arrested throughout the evening.
The protesters are conscious of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, more than two years ago, as calls for significant police reform, including deescalation training, continue among the consistent killings of unarmed black people in cities across the country.
Wednesday evening protest over Scott death marked the second day of unrest. Charlotte Police alleged that they were searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant in an apartment complex, when they say Scott exited his vehicle holding a firearm.
Witnesses at the scene, including Scott’s daughter and siblings, said the 43 year old father of seven was reading a book in his car. But Charlotte Mecklenburg Police maintained that he was carrying a firearm. The police report says a gun, not a book, was recovered at a scene.
Police dashcam and body camera footage is being reviewed by investigators but is yet to be released to the public amongst the conflicting accounts. A new state law signed in July, will go into effect 1 October and would no longer consider police footage to be public record.
“You know the law as well as I do, right now we can’t release it,” CMPD chief Kerr Putney said Wednesday. “It’d have a negative impact on the integrity of the case, and that’s something we’re not gonna do.”
Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts told MSNBC that she will view the video on Thursday, despite not being part of the investigation.
Scott’s wife, Rakeiya Scott, issued a statement on Tuesday that called into question the official account of police, but vowed to “work diligently to get answers”. In addition to police transparency, Ms Scott called for calm from people seeking justice for her husband.
On Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered outside the apartment complex. They later extended the demonstration into early Wednesday morning, when they overtook a portion of Interstate Highway 83.