Protest erupts after police kill African-American man in North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina
Police officers wearing riot gear block a road during protests after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 20, 2016. REUTERS photoProtesters blocked a highway and clashed with police in Charlotte, North Carolina, early on the morning of Sept. 21 after officers fatally shot an African-American man they said had a gun when they approached him in a parking lot.
About a dozen officers and several protesters suffered non-life threatening injuries during an hours-long demonstration near where Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was shot by a policeman, who was also reported to be African American, on Sept. 20 afternoon, police and local media said on social media, according to Reuters.
Scott was shot by officer Brentley Vinson earlier in the day, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. The shooting occurred when officers were at an apartment complex searching for a suspect with an outstanding warrant and they saw Scott get out of his vehicle with a firearm, the department said.
Vinson fired his weapon and struck Scott, who “posed an imminent deadly threat to the officers,” the department said in a statement.
Vinson, who joined the Charlotte police force in July 2014, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Protesters and Scott’s family disputed that the dead man was armed. Some family members told reporters that Scott had been holding a book and was waiting for his son to be dropped off from school.
Early Sept. 21 morning, protesters blocked Interstate 85, where they stole boxes from trucks and started fires before police used flash grenades in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd, an ABC affiliate in Charlotte reported.
Earlier in the evening, police in riot gear reportedly used tear gas on protesters who threw rocks and water bottles at them as they wielded large sticks and blocked traffic.
“Approximately 12 officers injured. One officer hit in face with a rock,” read a tweet posted by the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department, AFP reported.
A separate police department tweet said the officers were “injured tonight working to protect our community during demonstration.”
News reports said an unspecified number of civilians were also hurt.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts urged for calm.
“The community deserves answers and a full investigation will ensue,” she said on Twitter, adding in a subsequent post, “I want answers too.”