North Carolina governor declares state of emergency as Charlotte protests rage on
Protests in Charlotte continued through the second night in response to the fatal police shooting of a black man, leading North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency Wednesday night. In a tweet, the governor said, “I have declared a State of Emergency & initiated efforts to deploy the Nat’l Guard & Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement in CLT.” Tuesday night, 12 officers were hospitalized for injuries and four were injured Wednesday night, with one person on life support after being shot by another civilian, although they were previously reported dead, according to a tweet by the city of Charlotte.
As seen in cities across the country in recent years, the demonstrations erupted after Keith Lamont Scott was killed by the police while waiting for his kid to get off the school bus. The police were there to serve a warrant to a different man, but claim they saw Scott exit his car with a gun, although his family says he was just reading a book in his car. “The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands which were also heard by many of the witnesses,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Police (CMCP) Chief Kerr Putney said at a news conference Wednesday morning, adding that the situation unfolded “in a matter of seconds.”
The protests started out peaceful Tuesday, and witnesses claim Wednesday’s demonstrations did as well. “It hurts us to see that these buildings are being vandalized and damaged because of the anger and outrage of other citizens when there are clearly other ways to get our point across,” Kristine Slade, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte student at the protests, told CNN. The police fired tear gas around 11 p.m. ET Wednesday night to break up the crowd.
So far, no one has died as a result of the demonstrations, and declaring a state of emergency means there will be even more law enforcement present in Charlotte this week.