Hundreds protest in Charlotte for third night following police shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Protesters massed on Charlotte’s streets for a third night Thursday in the latest sign of mounting pressure for police to release video that could resolve wildly different accounts of the shooting of a black man.
Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” and “we want the tape” while briefly blocking an intersection near Bank of America headquarters and later climbing the steps in front of the city government center. Still, the protests remained peaceful in the hours after night fell.
CBS News has confirmed that the mayor of Charlotte has signed an order instating a curfew city wide. The curfew starts at midnight and ends at 6 a.m.
Members of the National Guard carrying rifles were also deployed in front of office buildings to head off another night of violence in this city on edge.
Protesters in Charlotte who spilled onto an interstate highway are being pushed back by police officers in riot gear.
After peacefully circling the city’s business district for several hours, several dozen demonstrators climbed onto Interstate 277 and stood in the middle of the highway.
A line of police officers with shields and face masks advanced on the protesters, and many dispersed and climbed back up embankments off the road.
The business district, known locally as uptown, has been on edge Thursday after two nights of chaotic protests that included vandalism and injuries.
Reporters from CBS affiliate WBTV are sharing video of the protests in Charlotte on Twitter Thursday night.
North Carolina’s largest city is under a state of emergency, after another night of violence over the police killing of a black man. The governor has ordered the National Guard to Charlotte, where thousands of workers at Bank of America’s downtown headquarters have been told to stay home Thursday.
For the second straight night Wednesday, the streets of Charlotte erupted in violence as protesters clashed with police over the death of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, reported CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.
On Thursday night, Charlotte police said the man shot in the head during Wednesday night’s protests near a downtown hotel has died.
Police spokesman Keith Trietley said in a news release that 26-year-old Justin Carr died Thursday at the hospital.
Carr was shot as protesters clashed with police in riot gear lined arm-in-arm protecting the Omni Hotel about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. City officials say Carr was not shot by an officer.
Police Chief Kerr Putney says the detectives are determined to find who fired the fatal shots. No arrests have been made.
“The whole reason we had to protest was because somebody was shot unarmed. Another unarmed person is shot today,” said protester Gloria Merriweather, choking up on tears.
The lawyer for Scott’s family said he couldn’t tell after watching police video if the man had anything in his hands when he was shot.
Scott’s family was shown the dashboard and body camera footage by police Thursday.
After viewing it, attorney Justin Bamberg said in a statement they want the video released to the public immediately. Putney has said he won’t release the video while a criminal investigation continues.
Bamberg said Scott is seen in the video calmly exiting his vehicle Tuesday and while police give him several commands, he does not approach officers. Bamberg said Scott’s hands were by his side and he was slowly walking backward when he was shot
Police ordered the crowds to disperse Wednesday after some protesters started damaging businesses. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades, but hundreds of people remained well after midnight.
Police and journalists were attacked, store and car windows smashed and a night that started as a peaceful prayer vigil had descended into chaos.
“Yes we came down here to protest but we can’t tear up downtown. That’s not going to solve anything,” said a protester.
Four officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and at least three civilians were hospitalized. At one point, several protesters ran onto Interstate 277, stopping traffic and surrounding drivers.
“Some of this is just absolutely insane, like these people didn’t do anything to us. If you’re going to revolt against somebody, revolt against the people who deserved it,” said another protester.
“My heart bleeds for what our great city is going through,” North Carolina Governor Pat McCory told CBS News affiliate station WBTV-TV about the two nights of violence.