North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency Wednesday night after a prayer vigil for Keith Lamont Scott — the Black man killed by police this week — turned violent.
The second night of protests ended with one person shot in what police are calling civilian-on-civilian violence. The victim is in critical condition. Police initially reported that the shooting was a fatality.
CORRECTION UPDATE: Civilian who suffered gunshot wound during protests is on life support, critical condition. Not deceased.— City of Charlotte (@CLTgov) September 22, 2016
ALERT: Fatal shot uptown was civilian on civilian. @CMPD did not fire shot.— City of Charlotte (@CLTgov) September 22, 2016
Things went from peaceful to pandemonium when hundreds of protestors were intercepted by patrol cars and officers blocking their access to continue down the street while marching from a Black church to police headquarters to Charlotte entertainment venue The EpiCentre, reports Reuters.
The crowd was approximately a block away from the Omni Charlotte Hotel moments before shots were fired. Police began shooting off flash grenades in response to protestors throwing bottles, says FOX News.
Officers attempted to separate the crowd by shooting off rubber bullets, releasing tear gas and flash-bang grenades.
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Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney, who confirmed a civilian was responsible for tonight’s shooting, told FOX News, “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.”
As Scott’s wife, Rakeyia, stated, “We have more questions than answers about Keith’s death,” Charlotte community activist Blanche Penn said, “We are tired of people, especially police, killing our black men.”
“Charlotte has always been quiet. But now it’s time to be loud.”