Home News Charlotte Erupts: Protesters attack police, block highway, loot semi-trucks and stores

Charlotte Erupts: Protesters attack police, block highway, loot semi-trucks and stores

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UPDATE: 5:50 a.m.

The streets in Charlotte, North Carolina, are quite Wednesday morning after angry protests over the fatal police shooting of a black man left officers injured and shut down an interstate.

Traffic is flowing again on Interstate 85, hours after protesters blocked the highway and television footage showed some apparently looting semi-trucks and setting their contents on fire.

No protesters could be seen around 5 a.m. but broken glass and rocks littered the ground where a police car had been vandalized during protests earlier. Less than 5 miles away, wooden pallets barricaded the entrance to a Wal-Mart that had apparently been looted.

The protests broke out Tuesday after 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by a black officer at an apartment complex on the city’s northeast side.

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NORTH CAROLINA, U.S. – A neighbourhood near the University of North Carolina in Charlotte was abuzz with action on Tuesday night but the protest that drew out over 200 demonstrators to the streets soon turned ugly.

Acting on unconfirmed social media posts, protesters gathered at the venue after they read about a police officer shooting and killing a 43-year-old ‘disabled black man’ who was later identified as Keith Lamont Scott.

Soon, the protesters that were initially holding signs that read ‘Black Lives Matter’ turned agitated and chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “No justice, No peace.”

Protesters are then said to have heckled the about 50 to 75 officers that rushed to the protest site in riot gear.

Police fired tear gas after officers were hurt and a Civil Emergency Unit was dispatched to the scene to rescue to the officers.

The incident reportedly occurred when Charlotte police looking to serve a warrant, shot and killed another man.

In an official statement, the Police said that officers were searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant about 4 p.m. ET when they saw a man exit his vehicle “armed with a firearm.”

Police Chief Kerr Putney further added that the weapon was a handgun.

The statement further stated that when the man got back into the car and officers approached, “the man got back out of the vehicle armed with a firearm and posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers who subsequently fired their weapon striking the subject.”

The man was rushed to the Carolinas Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.

Addressing a news conference, Putney told the media that Scott wasn’t the person police were seeking on the outstanding warrant, “but we do not know if he was connected.”

He added, “At this point, all we know [is] they’re in the apartment complex parking lot, and this subject gets out with a weapon. They engage him, and one of the officers felt a lethal threat and fired his weapon because of that.”

Putney also said that two investigative branches of the department were looking into the shooting.

Later in the day, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Police Department confirmed that 12 officers were hurt “in an attempt to deescalate agitators” during the demonstration and “one officer was struck in the face by a rock.”

The Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts who urged for calm said that the city and police would reach out to community leaders.

She further identified the officer involved in the shooting as Brentley Vinson, a two-year veteran of the department and said that he had immediately been placed on paid administrative leave.

She also Tweeted, “The community deserves answers and full investigation will ensue. Will be reaching out to community leaders to work together.”

Adding, “We are reaching out to community to ask for calm.”

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