Charlotte Rocked by Second Night of Violence, One Protester Shot as State of Emergency Declared


Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The city of Charlotte woke up Thursday for the second day to the aftermath of violent protests and a shooting, as a prayer vigil in honor of a black man shot and killed by police on Tuesday turned chaotic, resulting in another person being shot amid reports of vandalism and looting.

The scene grew tense after 8 p.m. Wednesday as demonstrators marched in a commercial area in uptown Charlotte. As the night wore on, police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, who threw bottles and rocks at police and passing cars, blocked an interstate highway, surrounded and jumped on vehicles, looted businesses and stormed the entrance of a Hyatt hotel, injuring two of its employees.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said four of its officers sustained injuries, all non-life threatening.

The person who was shot during the protests on Wednesday is on life support, the City of Charlotte announced on Twitter. Earlier, the city tweeted that the person had died and that the shooting was “civilian on civilian.”

The unrest prompted the governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard.

“Upon a recent request of Chief Putney, the National Guard and State Highway Patrol are sending in resources to further help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department,” the governor said in a statement. “Any violence directed toward our citizens or police officers or destruction of property should not be tolerated. I support and commend the law enforcement officials for their bravery and courage during this difficult situation.”

Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts said officials from the White House and the Department of Justice were also making their way to Charlotte, ABC affiliate WSOC reported.

The North Carolina NAACP State Conference also announced in a statement that it “will be in Charlotte to talk with the family, key members of the community and City leaders” on Thursday, followed by a press conference in the afternoon.

NC NAACP statement on officer involved Shooting in Charlotte #KeithLamontScott pic.twitter.com/yIyqxB4ruP

— NC NAACP (@ncnaacp) September 22, 2016

Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, said in statement, “Violence will not bring justice … We must come together as a community to get answers and find a better path forward.”

WSOC reported that looters hit a Charlotte Hornets team store, which the NBA team confirmed. The Hyatt House hotel in the city’s downtown also said protesters broke the property’s windows and attacked two employees.

The protesters’ wrath extended into cyberspace, as well: WSOC reported that the city of Charlotte’s website had been hacked Wednesday evening.

Before midnight, protesters descended onto Interstate 277, which they blocked. According to WSOC, protesters also threw objects at passing vehicles.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokeswoman Cindy Wallace said Wednesday night of the shot protester, “Officers responded to North College Street and East Trade Street to an ADW [assault with a deadly weapon] call for service at approximately 8:31 p.m. One person was located with an apparent gunshot wound and transported to CMC Main [Carolinas Medical Center]. This is all the information I have at this time.”

The wife of the man fatally shot by police at an apartment complex Tuesday — Keith Lamont Scott — issued a statement Wednesday afternoon addressing the protesters, and urging them to exercise restraint against law enforcement officers.

“As a family, we respect the rights of those who wish to protest, but we ask that people protest peacefully,” the statement read. “Please do not hurt people or members of law enforcement, damage property or take things that do not belong to you in the name of protesting.”

Hundreds of protesters Wednesday night shouted slogans, including “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter” while filling the streets of downtown Charlotte.

The EpiCentre, a shopping complex in the uptown area of Charlotte at the center of the street confrontations, announced it will not open on Thursday.

Citing, “ongoing civil unrest,” Bank of America, whose corporate headquarters are in Charlotte, told its employees not to come to work in its uptown offices, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Public transportation will be operating normally Thursday morning after experiencing disruptions overnight.

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