State of emergency: Protests continue in Charlotte

Governor declares state of emergency in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — Angry and some violent protesters took to the streets on a second night of unrest as the National Guard arrived in this North Carolina city early Thursday following the police-involved shooting of a black man.

One person was shot and four officers were injured Wednesday night as Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency.

The non-fatal shooting was "civilian on civilian" and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department did not fire the shot, the City of Charlotte said via Twitter. Authorities initially tweeted the person had died, but later corrected that the person was on life support.

Four officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the protests Wednesday night, police said on Twitter.

The Bank of America, which is headquartered in Charlotte, urged employees to stay home Thursday due to the ongoing unrest, WBTV reported.

McCrory said via Twitter that he declared a state of emergency and initiated efforts to deploy the National Guard and the state Highway Patrol to assist local police.  The violence that erupted during the demonstrations would not be tolerated, McCrory told CNN late Wednesday.

"I understand concerns and I understand frustration and anger but I will never respect violence," McCrory said. "Violence is unacceptable."

Mayor Jennifer Roberts told CNN: "We are urging people to stay home, to stay off the streets. Violence is not the answer."

The violence came one day after police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott, 43, who police say was armed and ignored commands to drop his weapon. Scott's family says the father of seven had a book in his hand. Word of the death stirred up anger in Charlotte and across the country.

Police responded to a call at about 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night and discovered a person with an apparent gunshot wound, police spokeswoman Cindy Wallace said in an email. The person was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, Wallace said.

As these details emerged, police in riot gear crowded downtown Charlotte as protesters shouted "hands up, don't shoot," banged against a police van and broke a window of the City Smoke barbecue restaurant and bar. Police set off smoke bombs, which are sometimes used to disperse crowds.

Sixteen police officers were wounded in the violence that erupted Tuesday night in this North Carolina hub after word of the shooting spread across the country.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney, at a news conference Wednesday, rejected claims Scott was holding a book, not a gun, and said the gun had been recovered by detectives. No book was found, Putney said.

“It’s time to change the narrative, because I can tell you from the facts that the story’s a little bit different as to how it’s been portrayed so far, especially through social media,” Putney added.

Maxwell reports for the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times. Eversley reported from New York. Contributing: Jane Onyanga-Omara in London.


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