The Charlotte protest, which began earlier this week in response to a recent police shooting, has become more and more violent, hours after people came together in memory of Keith Lamar Scott, the man who died in the shooting.
People living in the community gathered near the apartment complex where Scott was killed. The protest was relatively non-violent at first. The people gathered there threw water bottles at the police officers who arrived to supervise the protests, but no one was seriously injured.
However, during the following hours, the Charlotte protest quickly escalated. Protesters became increasingly violent. Some jumped on nearby cars, looted stores, and a group vandalized the Hyatt Hotel. The police threw tear gas, in an attempt to stop the violence.
One protester accidentally shot another. The wounded protester was taken to a nearby hospital, and is critical condition. These actions prompted Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency. He has also planned to deploy the North Carolina National Guard. The troops would be there to assist Charlotte police in calming down the protesters.
Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts also stated that representatives from the White House and the Department of Justice will arrive in the North Carolina town in the following days.
Protesters attacked the website of the town of Charlotte as well. The hackers took down the page a few hours after the Charlotte protest started. The incident that triggered the Charlotte protest was the death of Keith Lamar Scott.
The Events that Sparked the Charlotte Protest
Police had arrived at an apartment complex to serve a warrant to another person. They noticed Scott getting in and out of his car. They believed Scott was armed, and one officer felt he was a threat. He shot Scott, who later died. Scott was not connected in any way to the warrant the police were serving.
After Scott arrived at the hospital, police presumably found his gun near the scene of the shooting. However, conflicting versions of the story have emerged. Scott’s daughter stated that he did not in fact have a gun. He was reading a book, waiting for a child to come back from school. She claims Scott was tasered, and then shot four times. She was in her home when the shooting occurred, and immediately went out, and live streamed her encounter with the officers that had shot her father.
Police identified the officer who shot Scott. His name is Brentley Vinson. He is also African-American. Officers involved in the shooting claim Scott pointed a gun at them. He refused to put it down, even after several requests. They claim they found no book at the scene of the shooting.
Vinson was not wearing a body camera at the time of the incident. But three other officers were, and there are also dash cam recordings. An investigation will soon begin to review the evidence in this case.
The Charlotte protests were most likely made worse by the fact that this police shooting occurred just one week after another similar incident. Terence Crutcher was fatally shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by police agents, in spite of the fact that he didn’t have a gun, and was holding his hands up at the time the shooting occurred.
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