The governor of North Carolina has declared a State of Emergency after violence erupted on the second night of protests in Charlotte, over the police killing of a black man. The governor called for support from the U.S. National Guard, and Highway Patrol officers.
The protest tonight escalated into chaos, and what was at first reported as a death of a man in the crowds.
Governor calling in the national guard? This sounds all too familiar.. sending love to protestors out there in #Charlotte tonight.
— clifton kinnie (@CliftonKinnie) September 22, 2016
North Carolina's governor [Pat McCrory] later declared a state of emergency amid the unrest and said the National Guard and state highway patrol troopers would be sent to help police in Charlotte.
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney initially reported that a person shot during the protest had died, but city officials later posted a Twitter message saying the individual had been hospitalized in critical condition on life support.
The city also said the gunshot was fired by one civilian at another, not by police. A police officer was also being treated for injuries suffered during the protests, the city said.
As @deray told Wolf Blitzer, "I don't have to condone it to understand it." Those words convey many layers of meaning.
— Jay (@Voice_of_Unrest) May 4, 2015
— NC Governor's Office (@GovOfficeNC) September 22, 2016
— deray mckesson (@deray) September 22, 2016
The protests are in response to the fatal police shooting on Tuesday of of Keith Scott, 43, who was black.
Mr. Scott's death is the latest in over 200 fatal police shootings of black men in America this year.
The police who shot and killed Scott say the man was armed with a handgun and refused orders from officers to drop his gun. But his family and a person who witnessed the shooting all say he was holding a book, not a gun.
And one night later, Charlotte police chief Putney told Fox News tonight, "We're trying to disperse the crowd. We've been very patient, but now they've become very aggressive, throwing bottles and so forth, at my officers, so it's time for us now to restore order."
New York Times reporters on site Wednesday report that "Law enforcement authorities fired tear gas in a desperate bid to restore order."
The scene of the shooting and the largest demonstration of the evening happened along a crowded street in Charlotte's city center, where the sound of gunfire mixed with the noise of people banging objects into vehicles.
The gunshot victim lay motionless on the ground, his eyes open, as people surrounded him and blood pooled between their feet. He was taken into the nearby Omni Hotel, and a series of physical confrontations played out afterward as the police kept people from entering.
Some demonstrators immediately accused the police of opening fire, a charge the authorities quickly denied. The city described the episode as a "civilian on civilian" confrontation.
There was sporadic looting. Twitter messages showed that the team store of the Charlotte Hornets of the N.B.A. had been broken into and gutted of merchandise. "We are working very hard to bring peace and calm back to our city," [Charlotte] Mayor Jennifer Roberts said on CNN.
CNN reporters were tear gassed and hit with rubber bullets while covering the story.
The protests tonight follow three police shootings of black men over the past week.
First came the shooting of a teenager in Columbus, Ohio, who had been brandishing a BB gun. Two days later, on Friday, was the shooting death in Tulsa, Okla., of a man who had his hands above his head before an officer opened fire.
And then it was Charlotte, where Keith L. Scott, 43, black like the other two, was shot by a police officer in a parking space marked "Visitor" outside an unremarkable apartment complex on Tuesday. On Wednesday that parking space was both the site of a fatal shooting and a shrine, and Charlotte was a city on edge, the latest to play a role in what feels like a recurring, seemingly inescapable tape loop of American tragedy.
New Protests Erupt in Charlotte as Accounts of Police Shooting Diverge [Richard Fausset and Alan Binder]
— Mashable News (@MashableNews) September 22, 2016
It's easy to believe the narrative from police or a news over a random person on Twitter who was there. Until that random is your friend.
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) September 22, 2016
America is not going to hold together indefinitely without accountability for police wrong doing.
— Eli Kramer (@Eli_Kramer_) September 22, 2016
— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) September 22, 2016
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) September 22, 2016